Empties # 1

Today, let’s talk trash! I’m bringing a popular series from YouTube into the site called “Empties“. This is a common beauty series that most beauty gurus do where they literally keep all their beauty-related trash and show them to their audience, summing up their thoughts after finishing the product as well as whether they would repurchase them.

I don’t know about you but I get so satisfied when I finish up an item. Unless it’s limited edition or really hard to get a hold of, in which case I will be gutted. For the most part, it’s hard for me to use a single product consistently and finish it up completely before moving on to the next one. Simply because the options are endless and new things are always popping up every day! It’s difficult to stay loyal to a product. But when I am loyal to something and finish it up, you know the love is real.

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So here’s a quick round up of my beauty trash!

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1. Pixi Glow Tonic  (US$30.50)

One of the most highly raved about AHA toners out there. Ever since skincare expert, Caroline Hirons, mentioned these, it blew up! Everyone in the UK started using it and it became a super hyped product in Europe and the US. Unfortunately, as with many things that are amazing, we can’t get this brand in Singapore. I actually picked this up when I was in London late last year. But do not despair! Recently ASOS has expanded their beauty section and you can now order this with free international shipping through them. However, be wary when purchasing items online (especially from ASOS). 

That being said, I would repurchase this and take that risk in a heartbeat because this toner is EVERYTHING. The Pixi Glow Tonic is an acid toner. Hence, it is packed with 5% Glycolic Acid as well as Ginseng extracts to help chemically exfoliate the skin. The AHAs in this toner will get rid of your dead skin cells without tugging the skin to reveal youthful, clear skin and it definitely helps with any textural issues I had. It’s great for all skin types and gentle enough to use daily. It’s one of those cases where a product is truly worth the hype.

I’ve used other AHA toners such as the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, but this is by far superior in its formulation. Definitely more forgiving on the skin, without losing its effectiveness. I’m already on to my back up bottle. Cannot live without this one!

 

2. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (SGD $15.90)

Holy Grail dry shampoo!! I know that dry shampoo isn’t exactly the most exciting thing to talk about. And it isn’t as widely used here in Asia as it is in the states. If you aren’t using Dry Shampoo, try some! It will change your life I guarantee it. It’s perfect for second day hair or refreshing your style after a low intensity gym session. Contrary to popular belief, it is damaging to wash your hair daily as it strips it of the natural oils it need to grow and become stronger. It’s especially bad for people with colour-treated hair as washing your hair too much can strip its colour.

This is the best dry shampoo I’ve found. And trust me, I’ve tried a substantial amount. The formula is gentle yet effective and does not leave a major white cast on your roots (hello fellow brunettes). This Klorane one also does not leave the hair feeling dirty or overloaded with product, like the Batiste one does for me. It’s very airy and has a gentle inoffensive scent that doesn’t clash with your perfume. Furthermore, it adds subtle texture to your hair whilst absorbing unwanted grease. When I found that Klorane made a tinted version for brown haired girls, you can just imagine the elation. Pure joy!!

Needless to say, I will definitely be repurchasing this, forever and ever. It’s completely flawless.

 

3. La Roche Posay Serozinc Spray (£8.50)

I think it is apparent that I am a huge fan of French Pharmaceutical brands. I find most of their formulas very gentle and suitable for my sensitive acne prone skin. Speaking of which, I have finished up another bottle of my Serozinc spray toner from La Roche Posay. This is my third bottle and I have 2 more back ups, ready for me. Yes, it is THAT good.

Although the brand is sold here in Singapore, this particular toner is only sold in France. But due to its popular demand, recently certain UK sites have started carrying it and they do have international shipping. Why are people going ga-ga over this? This is basically a zinc sulphate solution, designed specifically for oily, acne prone skin but people of all skin types are able to use it. Zinc sulphate helps reduce inflammation and soothes skin irritation. On top of that, it balances the skin and also contains sodium chloride, a mild astringent to help purify. Just three ingredients in total, including the La Roche Posay signature thermal spring water.

This is GODSEND for days when I am having breakouts and my skin is red and angry. It prevents the spread of my breakouts, whilst treating it and reducing its redness. As with all gentle products, it isn’t a miracle worker that cures acne overnight. However, I love how balanced my skin feels every time I use this.

Love. Love. Love. 

 

4. Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturising Eye Cream (SGD $21.90)

This is a standard eye cream that I enjoyed using. No fragrance, mineral oils plus a lightweight cream formula that sinks in quickly and does hydrate the skin under the eyes very well. Hada Labo features a super hyaluronic acid formula that contains 3 types of hyaluronic acid that really helps with oil-free hydration. Perfect day and night, works amazing under makeup. I’m not sure if I will go back to this, because this eye cream only targets hydration. I might graduate and take it to the next level by trying out a more anti-aging formula next.

 

5. Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution (SGD $120)

Amazing entry level retinol product that really does help with hyper pigmentation and scarring. I used this religiously for months, every night. You can read more here, where I explain in detail what retinol does and how this really helped my skin. I will definitely repurchase this for the ferulic acid, because it made my skin bright and even toned. However, I have since then moved to a stronger retinol formula so I will not be repurchasing this immediately. But I highly recommend this for its lightweight and effective concoction of antioxidants, acids and retinol. Say hello to bright, even skin!

 

 

 

Most of my empties are skincare products as I tend to use those up much more quickly than any makeup product. These kinds of things really give you a good idea of the prolonged performance of a product and encourages me to be less wasteful, to truly get every penny’s worth. I’m pumped to keep doing this and use up even more of my things.

Shop my stash more and be less fickle when it comes to beauty products.

 

Awaken Your Senses!

When we walk into a Sephora or Watsons, we are immediately surrounded by hundreds of brand from all over the world to choose from. Truly we are spoilt for choice. More often than not, we are attracted to packaging and product presentation, I know I fall into this trap time and time again. When it comes to skincare, I am a little more wary and I will look into the ingredients list before making a purchase, making sure that there’s nothing that my skin could potentially have an adverse reaction to.

But let’s take a step back. Where are the local brands? And what are we actually putting on our skin? 

This was when I was introduced to Rania Hasna’s skincare range that she makes from scratch. The superficial girl in me was initially attracted to the simplistic packaging that gives me major “MUJI” vibes. I loved the clean and simple look. And then I dug deeper into the brand and what it’s all about.

 

Rania Hasna Nature Elements is all about knowledge. Knowing exactly what you are putting on your skin and what purpose they serve to you. Rania started this line, first as a mother. Her motherly instinct to protect her son made her start asking questions and doubting the integrity of mass produced items sold in drugstores. They are marketed for sensitive skins, suitable even for babies but when she dug deeper and researched the ingredients, there were so many cheap fillers and harmful substances that were passed by the HSA (Health Sciences Authority) due to “low” amounts present in them. But why are they present at all?!

So she took things into her own hands. 

All her products are formulated on her own, using organic produce and cruelty free. The brand is also environmentally conscious, encouraging customers to recycle their empty product containers in exchange for dollars off their next purchase. Made in Australia, she uses the highest grade essential oils and thus, only can make small batches at a time. In essence, she gets rid of all the unnecessary nasty stuff and just focus on the good.

And we all could do with a little bit of good.

 

Due to years of using more chemically potent products on my face, I have always been rather adverse or underwhelmed with “natural” or “organic” products. I find that they don’t give me the fast results that I am looking for. But gentle products are not supposed to be abrasive and I realised how much I liked knowing what is going on my body.

 

The star for me is the Awaken Oil.

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Just the name, ohh~ YAS! Give it to me! This product only has 6 ingredients, 5 of which are amazing oils and the last ingredient being Vitamin E. It has a herbal smell that comes from the oils in the bottle itself. All her products contain no artificial fragrances. I personally love herbal smells and I find it extra relaxing when I am massaging this onto my skin.

 

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My skin type is Oily and Acne-prone. Contrary to popular belief, oil is amazing for oily skin as it helps regulate the amount of oil your own body produces. I find that the more I hydrate my skin, the more balanced it is and the less oily I am.

However, it’s all about finding the right balance as too much hydration can clog my large pores. I find that the best way to use this oil is to mix a drop into my night moisturizer. Due to it’s thicker consistency, my night cream helps it become more emollient and easier to spread over my skin. I also find that it sinks in more quickly this way. And I wake up to plump and juicy skin.

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I truly admire people who go out and make things happen for themselves. It is especially difficult in a country like Singapore, where international brands take center stage and we ignore our own people. Here is a mother and entrepreneur who is looking to make a difference in teaching people what they are actually putting into their bodies.

 

This woman goes against the grain and I salute that!

 

 

 

One Brush to Rule Them All.

I don’t know about you, but makeup is something I wear in order to give me confidence to face the day. When I do have a good makeup day, it automatically makes my day a 100 times better. And while the actual products we put on our faces play a huge role, the techniques and tools we use are equally important in ensuring that we always have a good makeup day.

The trickiest bit about makeup, I find, is eyeshadow. It is finicky and involve a good amount of effort in order to make things look effortless (the irony, I know). I would watch YouTube makeup tutorials trying to figure out how to best accentuate my eye shape, how to create the perfect smokey eye without looking like I’ve just been in a bar fight. These “gurus” would use countless brushes on their faces in order to achieve one look. And when you are a beginner, the whole thing is quite overwhelming.

I am here to tell you the secret to a perfect eye look.

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The ZOEVA 227 Soft Definer brush is the answer to your prayers.

It is the perfect brush for any eye shape and any type of eye look you are going for. And the best part is that, despite its amazing quality, you don’t have to break the bank (SGD$14.50). This is said to be the dupe to the famous MAC 217 blending brush. And while MAC brushes are good quality, you can buy a few ZOEVA Soft Definer brushes for the price of one MAC brush. Plus the brushes are almost identical.

The reason why these brushes are so popular are because of its versatile shape. The bristles are soft, yet dense enough to pick up the right amount of product. The slightly flat, tapered shape allows you to place product on the lid while still being fluffy enough to blend the colours out, in order to diffuse the product. You can wet this brush to create a stronger impact and more pigmented looks or use them dry for a light wash of colour for everyday.

It is perfection.

 

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I personally have at least a dozen of these so that I will always have a clean one ready. Most probably because I am too lazy to wash my brushes regularly, but it also convenient to have a clean one available to help with blending. It’s the secret to my most complicated looking eyeshadow looks. I strongly believe that anyone can be a makeup pro with this eyeshadow brush.

The ZOEVA 227 comes in a variety of bristle types. My personal favourite is the ‘Luxe‘ version, with natural bristles made out of goat hair. For those who prefer to work with cream eyeshadows, you might opt for the ‘Vegan‘ version that is made out of synthetic bristles, as they are stiffer and work better with creams. Both available at Sephora SG. Hence, it is very accessible.

If you are having trouble making your eyeshadows work, or if you can’t seem to be achieving that eye look you are envisioning in your head, you are probably missing this crucial tool to your makeup craft. Get this and I promise it will change your makeup life.

From beginner to pro, in a blink of an eye.