Thursday, September 17, 2009

2 Thrrrob Promotions from Benefit Cosmetics

Christmas must be early! Benefit is launching 2 promotions for their Thrrrob blusher powder. Check it out - note the closing date for orders!

Promotion 1: FREE Thrrrob box powder with order of 2 other box powder

Get a FREE thrrrob box o’ powder when you purchase any two box ‘o powders (CORALista, dallas, dandelion, georgia, hoola, or 10). Enter 2BXOFFER at checkout. Offer valid 17 Sep 09 to 24 Sep 09. Not valid with other offers. Don’t forget to add thrrrob to shopping bag before checkout. While supplies last.

Promotion 2: FREE thrrrob face powder with US$65 order

Get a FREE thrrrob box o’ powder with any $65 order. Enter BOXFOR65 at checkout. Offer valid 17 Sep 09 to 24 Sep 09. Not valid with other offers. Don’t forget to add thrrrob to shopping bag before checkout. While supplies last.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Ultimate Acne Scar Guide

Another fantastic ebook on scars. It details the types of scars as well as treatments that would specifically targetted for them.

Interesting read! Download here

Friday, July 24, 2009

Understanding Acne: Causes, Cures & Myths

Another free ebook I bumped into while reading around on this perpetual problem of mine. Very informational!

Download it free here

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guide To How Beauty Products Work

Bumped across an interesting read from

It is a free 47 page ebook guide, titled Guide To How Beauty Products Work. It writes about the cosmetic science concepts behind the things we have in our beauty arsenal. The guide explains how 8 different kinds of beauty products work.

I like it as the author, Sarah Bellum writes in a really easy to understand and entertaining style. And it is always good to know more about the stuff we are using…

Download it here

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

Dr Weil? Sounds familiar? Yes... he is the man behind the Plantidote Mega-Mushroom series in Origins. Dr Weil also spent time looking at the topic of anti inflammatory food and has even devised a food pyramid to help guide our diets.

Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid - What Is It?
  • It is a practical eating guide that consumers of all ages can use, with tips on how to reduce risks of age-related diseases and improve overall health through diet.
  • It is an interactive educational graphic to help today’s families prevent disease while eating well.
  • It is a simple tool that promotes optimum health and healthy aging by providing dietary advice that addresses inflammation.

“Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help counteract the chronic inflammation that is a root cause of many serious diseases, including those that become more frequent as people age. It is a way of selecting and preparing foods based on science that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime.” - Andrew Weil

What Does An Anti-Inflammatory Diet Do?

The anti-inflammatory diet is a blueprint for a lifetime of optimum nutrition. Simple changes in how you eat can help counteract chronic inflammation, a root cause of many serious diseases, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
  • Age-related disorders, including many cancers
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Anti-Inflammatory Food

I read briefly that one of acne is that the body is in chronic inflammatory state. Inflammation is good as it is the trigger that helps the body heals. However, if the body is constantly in this inflammatory state, it puts our entire system and skin in hyper mode, which could result in pimples. This is also one of the points arising from Seppo Puusa's first minicourse. Even Dr Andrew Weil talks about the benefits of anti-inflammatory diets.

Before I go deeper in this area of anti-inflammation in future posts. I collated a list of anti-inflammatory food for a start. It is not exhaustive, so it would be a constant quest for the best food to give yourself. I guess it is time we put the 'good' food back into our body. And for once, maybe I will have really clear skin?

Bell Peppers
Bok Choy
Broccoli Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts
Fennel Bulb
Green Beans
Green Onions/Spring Onions
Sweet potatoes
Turnip Greens

Acerola (West Indian) Cherries
Black Currants
Fresh Pineapple

Herbs & Spices
Cayenne Peppers/Chilli Peppers
Cocoa (at least 70% cocoa chocolate)

Nuts & Seeds
Sunflower Seeds

Rainbow Trout
Snapper Fish
Striped Bass

Green Tea

Avocado Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Monday, May 18, 2009

You Are What You Eat - Healthy Diet For Neck Pain

(Another insightful article from Diet and inflammatory food could just be the key to pain management, or even skin conditions?)

The right foods can support the health of the bones, nerves, and connective tissues in your neck. An anti-inflammatory diet may help you avoid diseases like arthritis that can cause neck pain.

Your neck is made up of seven bones called vertebrae that are separated by shock-absorbing cushions called disks. This flexible, gently curved column that holds up your head requires an interconnected support system of muscles, tendons, and nerves. It's no wonder that injury, stress, and the wear and tear of years of activity can result in neck pain.

There is no miracle food or nutrient that can provide neck pain relief, but anything you can do to support the health of the bones, nerves, and connective tissues that make up your neck can help. Researchers who study bone and joint health are learning more about the important role that diet plays in diseases like arthritis and in the process of inflammation.

Diet and Neck Pain Relief: What to Eat

Nature has provided us with wonderful nutrients that promote good skeletal health; science also has contributed.

Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids, found in cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, can actually lower inflammatory chemicals in your body. If you don't like to eat fish, you can take a fish oil supplement. You can also get some omega-3 from flax seeds, walnuts, and leafy green vegetables.

Antioxidants and fiber. You should try to have five servings of vegetables every day, and two to four servings of fruit. These foods are high in fiber and anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Recent studies have shown that fiber, which you can get from beans and grains as well as fruits and vegetables, lowers an indicator of inflammation in your blood called C-reactive protein. One study found that men who ate more fruits and vegetables could lower their C-reactive protein levels by one-third.

Calcium and vitamin D. Since neck pain can be caused by wear and tear of the vertebrae in your neck, it makes sense to keep your bones as healthy as possible, so calcium should be an important part of your nutrition plan. You will also need vitamin D to absorb the calcium you take in. Recommendations for an average adult are 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D each day. Many foods are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Read the nutrition facts panel on your food labels.

Magnesium. Doctors are increasingly recognizing the value of magnesium in skeletal health. If you are not getting enough magnesium, you may be more susceptible to neck pain, muscle tension, and muscle soreness. Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for contraction and relaxation of your muscles. It can be found in fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, soy, and whole grains. The recommended daily requirement for magnesium for an is about 400 mg for adult males and 320 mg for adult females.

Water. Not getting enough fluids into your body can be a cause of muscle pain. When the body is dehydrated (a condition in which you are losing more water than you are taking in) it can result in an imbalance of the electrolytes and minerals that you need for normal muscle and nerve function

Diet and Neck Pain Relief: What to Avoid

An excellent way to help attain neck pain relief is by reducing the types of foods that cause inflammation.

Arachidonic acid and other saturated fats found in meat and dairy products are building blocks for your body's inflammatory response. So, to reduce inflammation, you'll want to reduce your consumption of meats and high-fat dairy products like butter and cream.

Most processed foods are also high in these fats. Instead of these pro-inflammatory foods, you can substitute other sources of proteins such as: Fish, nuts and beans

You should also know that alcohol and smoking can affect bone health. Alcohol can cause you to lose calcium and magnesium in your urine, and cigarette smoke is damaging to your bones.

Doctors are increasingly recognizing the importance of nutrition in maintaining skeletal health. If you have been suffering with neck pain, get going with a diet that fights inflammation and promotes healthy bones and muscles.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stopping the Signs of Aging Skin

(Another great article from

Stopping the Signs of Aging Skin
As with most other health issues, you can do a lot to protect yourself when it comes to the your skin health. Learn why sun damage is the real enemy, and how to guard against it.

By Chris Iliades, MD
Medically reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig, MD

Just like the rest of your body, your skin ages over time. But much of the visible surface damage, like dryness and lines, comes as a result of sun exposure, which you can protect yourself from. More good news: It’s possible to ease some of these signs of aging in your skin with simple prescription creams.

Aging Skin: Causes and Effects

A variety of factors are to blame for the typical signs of aging skin. These can include:

Sun exposure. "Take a woman with the skin changes that we associate with aging — wrinkles, dryness, age spots — and look at the skin under her arm. That skin is likely to be smooth and clear. The difference is sun exposure," says Steve Feldman, MD, PhD, professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC.

Called photodamage, the effects of sun exposure on your skin are caused by ultraviolet light, and the lighter your complexion, the worse the damage is likely to be. Over time, even a small amount of unprotected sun exposure each day can cause:
  • Age spots. Also called solar lentigines, or liver spots, these dark patches of skin are caused by sun damage. Bigger than freckles, age spots are more common in women with lighter complexions.
  • Spidery veins. As skin ages, especially with sun exposure, you become more prone to the eruption of small blood vessels near the surface of your skin called telangiectasias.
    Leathery texture and dry scaly patches, or actinic keratoses. Aging skin does not retain moisture well. This is due partly to the loss of sweat and oil glands, but sun exposure will also make your skin dry.
  • Gravity and the aging body. A different process causes aging signs like the folds and furrows of sagging skin. Even before you turn 30, the production of collagen and elastin in your body begins to slow down. Collagen is the protein that gives your skin its fullness and elastin is the protein that gives it bounce and elasticity. The effects of gravity and years of making facial expressions begin to leave deep lines and furrows on your skin. (This is why your mother probably told you not to frown.) A prime example is the so-called nasolabial fold that goes from the corner of the nose to the outer corner of the lip on either side of your face. While fillers like Botox can temporarily plump a frown line, deep folds can only be removed by redraping the skin through cosmetic surgery.

The estrogen effect. The biggest difference between men and women's skin comes from the female hormone estrogen. As women get older their estrogen levels fall, and studies show that the loss of estrogen can cause dryness, shrinking, and fine wrinkles.

Smoking. Repeated squinting from smoke helps create a network of fine lines around the eyes, and smoking may also rob skin of nutrients, notably elastin.

Aging Skin: Prevention and Treatment

Your skin does have some ability to repair itself, so no matter your age, it's important to do everything you can to prevent further damage.


  • Use sunscreen every day. If you are going to be in the sun, lather on sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. For everyday protection, choose a moisturizer and/or foundation with an SPF. "The best thing any woman can do for her skin is to use a moisturizer with sunscreen and wear a broad-brimmed hat outside," says Dr. Feldman.
  • Use a rich moisturizer. By keeping the top layer of skin moist, a moisturizer gives you a better base for makeup and prevents the dryness and flaking that can make skin look older.
  • Use a prescription vitamin A cream. The prescription cream tretinoin, a vitamin A formulation, has been approved by the FDA to treat fine wrinkles, roughness, and age spots due to sun damage and aging skin. Tretinoin (Renova, Retin-A Micro) should be used sparingly to avoid irritation; you can relieve any dryness with a moisturizing cream. Because tretinoin accelerates skin turnover, you must protect new skin with sunscreen. (Over-the-counter formulas with other forms of vitamin A, like retinol, do not have the same effect as tretinoin.)
  • Use alpha-hydroxy acids. In concentrations of less than 10 percent, skin care products with these naturally-occurring acids are sold over the counter in creams and lotions. Some studies show they may reduce fine wrinkles.
  • Use hydroquinone. Skin bleaching products containing hydroquinone may be effective in lightening age spots.


  • Expose unprotected skin to the sun. Make up for the vitamin D you’ll be missing with fortified foods or ask your doctor about supplements.
  • Use tanning beds or sunlamps. These aren’t the “safe” tanning alternative they’re often touted as, and their ultraviolet light can still harm skin.
  • Smoke. Cigarette smoking can damage skin and cause wrinkles.

Aging Skin: At the Dermatologist

A dermatologist can help determine if you are a candidate for tretinoin or in-office treatments like deeper skin peels to remove damaged layers of skin, or laser removal of spider veins. But the most important reason for a yearly visit to your dermatologist is to do a skin cancer check.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and is mainly caused by sun exposure. Rates of malignant melanoma, its most deadly form, are increasing among women. According to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the rate of melanoma in U.S. women between the ages of 15 to 39 more than doubled between 1973 and 2004.

"Any time you have a change in a freckle or a mole or a suspicious new skin growth you should see a dermatologist. Watch out for skin growths that bleed and don't heal," urges Feldman.

Protecting against skin cancers is arguably the greatest benefit of sunscreen, after its anti-aging properties. For both these reasons, Feldman says, “Women should know that the best thing they can do for their skin is protect it from the sun.”

Friday, May 15, 2009

Acne 101 - Introduction

I am back in battle with my acne breakouts again. Had been reading around and came across this free (yes! free!) minicourse at by Seppo Puusa

It comes in 7 weekly installments. Here is the first one to share. I always think free stuff are crap and just a ploy to get you to enter your email address so they can spam it in the future. However, this one does make a lot of sense. Go download and read... it's free anyway. Happy reading!

Seppo also has an ebook - Clear For Life, that builds depth on top of the free lesson. Click here to see.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Adult Acne - The Frustrating Problem

I just turned 30 and was ready to embrace the next new chapter in my life. But this is not to be so...not when a flare of adult acne comes in a seemingly mocking way to congratulate me on my life's next chapter. It is extremely frustrating, embarrassing, depressing... just about any sad words you can think about.

To seek solace, I had been reading up loads on this... here's to share one enlightening article form It is really genetics... when you get acne, how many, how bad, and when it would end.... When would mine end?

Adult Acne
Not just for teens: how to handle this frustrating adult problem.

A common problem in adolescence, acne may appear for the first time or worsen in midlife for reasons not fully understood. Hormonal fluctuations associated with menstruation and menopause make women more susceptible to adult acne.

Acne is generally attributed to an excess of male hormones known as androgens. Androgens stimulate the production of oily, waxy sebum by sebaceous glands in the dermis associated with acne. Overproduction of sebum may lead to blocked pores in the skin and a rapid growth of normal skin bacteria.

Symptoms of adult acne:
- Whiteheads (closed, plugged oil glands)
- Blackheads (open, plugged oil glands)
- Pustules (swollen red bumps), sometimes filled with pus

Treating Adult Acne

Several effective treatments for acne are available. If you have mild acne that's not inflamed, treatment with a nonprescription cream or lotion that contains benzoyl peroxide will help keep pores open and inhibit bacterial growth. Salicylic acid and sulfur in nonprescription lotions, creams, or gels can't prevent new eruptions, but they can cause existing ones to dry and peel. Topical antibiotics — erythromycin, clindamycin, and others — kill bacteria and are available with a prescription. So are oral antibiotics, which are even more effective. Both kill Propionibacterium acnes, the bacterium involved in the development of acne.

Retinoids, available by prescription, are derived from vitamin A and are a common and useful acne treatment. They cause several changes in skin cells that reduce the formation of pimples. Retinoids are especially effective when used with antimicrobial drugs — either antibiotics or benzoyl peroxide. Using a retinoid and an antimicrobial agent works better than using either drug alone. Tretinoin (Retin-A) is the retinoid most commonly used for treating acne, but it can irritate your skin. A microencapsulated form of tretinoin is less irritating. Tretinoin and two similar drugs, adapalene and tazarotene, are available only by prescription. Another treatment is azelaic acid, an antibacterial agent for mild or moderate acne.

The most powerful retinoid is isotretinoin (Accutane), which you take orally rather than apply topically like tretinoin. Isotretinoin is very effective for severe acne, but has some side effects, such as dry skin and chapped lips. Less common side effects are increased sun sensitivity, muscle and joint aches, headache, hair thinning, and impaired night vision. The drug is known to cause severe birth defects and must not be taken during pregnancy. A few patients taking isotretinoin have developed psychiatric problems including depression and, more rarely, suicidal behavior. As a safeguard, the federal government placed further restrictions on isotretinoin prescriptions. Doctors must register each patient in a national database and see the patient monthly, renewing the registration with each office visit.

Many women — up to 60 percent, according to the American Academy of Dermatology — show no response to routine acne treatment or find that their medications become ineffective over time. Because of this, isotretinoin has become a more common option, despite its drawbacks. The same is true for hormonal treatments. Estrogen-dominant oral contraceptives often are effective in treating adult women with acne. The combined estrogen and progestin that they contain decrease androgen levels. Undesirable effects include nausea, headache, and breast tenderness, but oral contraceptives may help decrease bone loss and lower the risk for ovarian and colorectal cancers. The anti-androgen drug spironolactone may be added if oral contraceptives alone are not effective.

Women with hypertension or a history of stroke, blood clots, breast or uterine cancer, or who still smoke after age 35 should not use oral contraceptives. Alternatives include spironolactone, used with antibiotics or by itself. Light and laser treatments are also useful for treating acne and acne scars.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Habits That Sabotage Your Skin

(A good read from Everyone should know what they are doing right or wrong to their skin)

If your skin is dry and itchy despite your best efforts, your everyday habits may be to blame.

You moisturize after every shower, use a humidifier in your bedroom at night, and eat healthfully — yet your skin still feels dry, tight, and itchy. Before you make an appointment with your dermatologist, check to see whether you’re guilty of one or more of the following habits that aggravate dry skin.

Dry skin saboteur #1:
Taking long, hot showers Hot water strips your skin of the natural lipids — cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides — that provide a watertight seal around cells. This disturbs the skin’s barrier and causes water to evaporate, says Leslie Baumann, MD, director of the University of Miami’s Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute. A reduction in lipids causes skin to feel dry and itchy. Limit showers to no more than 10 to 15 minutes, and use warm — not hot — water, suggests Doris Day, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist. The same rules apply for taking a bath: Keep bathing time short, and use warm water. When washing your face and hands, use warm or lukewarm water.

Dry skin saboteur #2:
Using deodorant soaps Cleansers such as deodorant soaps and foaming face washes contain detergents that, like hot water, remove lipids from the skin and damage its barrier. Not only does this allow water to evaporate from the skin, but it lets irritants such as sodium lauryl sulfate (a common detergent) enter skin cells and cause inflammation. Because shampoo may also contain this irritating ingredient, it’s best to shampoo first, then wash your face and body to remove any traces of it. Also potentially harmful to skin are alcohol- and water-based cleansers, bubble baths, and heavily fragranced soaps. More soothing options are oil-based, unscented mild soaps and body washes.

Dry skin saboteur #3:
Rigorously toweling off after your shower Aggressively rubbing a towel on your skin causes friction that can irritate it. Instead, pat skin dry. Immediately apply a moisturizer while your skin is still damp to lock in moisture.

Dry skin saboteur #4:
Using an overly aggressive facial peel A peel — whether it's an at-home glycolic acid peel or a spa treatment — is beneficial because it removes the top layer of skin, which allows moisturizers to penetrate more readily. What isn’t good is using a peel that is too potent on skin already irritated by wind or cold. Opt for a more soothing oxygen facial, or try a moisturizing mask in colder months, suggests Marina I. Peredo, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist practicing in Smithtown, New York.

Dry skin saboteur #5:
Forgoing sunscreen in the winter Nothing is as damaging and drying to skin as sunburn, and UVA rays are the same year-round, says Dr. Day. It’s especially important to wear sunscreen when skiing because the sun’s rays are more intense at higher altitudes. An SPF 15 lotion is typically fine in the winter, but check the label to make sure it contains UVA/UVB protection or is a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

In addition to these common saboteurs, certain medications and medical conditions, such as diabetes, can cause dry skin. If you think a particular medical condition, or any medications, could be causing your skin to dry out, speak with your doctor.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Beauty Wishlist

Work had been crazy for the past one week. I broke my personal record of working overtime... I worked till 3am on one crazy day. The rest of the days - I was averaging at least a 13hr workday. Well, on the brighter side of things, the whole team was working hard together, so it makes the inhumane late nights a little more bearable. Then, we knew it was going to be a sprint, so we worked really hard, knowing that this would be over soon.

So now, things have died down a little (of course, emergencies could happen anytime). I have a bit of me-time and realised I have not posted in a while. With brain cells severely depleted over the past one week, I was wondering what to post. Anyway, since I had shared in my previous post what I had in my beauty armory, I realised it is most befitting to share my wishlist!

Firstly, I am eternally in search of that miracle formula to solve my 3 key skin problems:

1. Dark eye circles
2 Large pores
3. Dark spots and acne marks

So whenever I see newly launched products in magazines or at beauty counters, I would have that urge to buy it, try it, praying that this would be THE product that will rid me of the abovementioned problems.

However, there is only one face I could use those products on, I would just have to keep adding these products to my wishlist and eventually get down to trying them when I have finished the existing ones.

Would be kinda fun running through the list and strike it off once I get my hands on it. I think this should also be a great post to send to the husband. I would not mind surprises, would you?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Products In My Beauty Armory

I saw this from Tine at Beautyaholics, who got it from Nikki at AskMeWhats. I think this would be a fun exercise to do, as well as to share some interesting products.

Here’s my list of products. Feels kinda like a journey of self-realisation - I didn’t think I am using that many products till I started listing them out one by one! And I seem to have something for every known skin problem I have!

In the shower

Shampoo: Sebastian Laminates Shampoo for rebonded hair (The shampoo and conditioner were the leftover stock from my rebonded hair days. But, my stylist says I can still use if for regular hair as it would keep it tamer, since I got rather wild hair when left unrebonded!)

Conditioner: Sebastian Laminates Conditioner for rebonded hair

Shower Gel: Nature Path Body Wash (Anti-Bacterial)

Body moisturizer: Anti-water retention and cellulite cream from the beauty salon I patronise
Body powder: Snake Brand Prickly Heat Powder

Fake Tan: No need tan, I like myself fair

On my face

Cleanser: Ionax Scrub in Lemon Scent by Galderma (this is not your regular scrub and it is gentle enough for daily use and is best for oily skin and with comedones. It leaves a residual, cationic antibacterial on the skin to help prevent more outbreak and irritating comedones)

Makeup remover: Kose Sekkisho Cleansing Oil

Exfoliator: L'Occitane Almond Apple Sweet Peel or Kose Sekkisho Perfect Clear Gel (Purifying Gel Scrub) (used once or twice a week interchangeably)

Toner: Helichrysum Hydrosol and Mira B’lia Detox Toner

Acne/Pimple Treatment: Clindagel (for morning) and Dalacin T and Differin (both for night)

Acne Spot Treatment: Retin-A Cream or Nixoderm

Dark Marks Treatment: Eldopaque Forte Skin Bleaching Cream with Sunblock

Dark Spots on Cheeks: Biotherm White Detox Botanicalyzer (finishing soon and I would be trying SKII’s Dermdefinition to see if it is worth the raves)

Eyes: Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Eye Treatment

Pore Minimising: Clinique Pore Minimiser Refining Serum

Moisturiser: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluide (for morning) and Renew Rose Hip Oil (for night)

Sunblock: Cream from beauty salon

Masks: Kose Sekkisho Mask White or Collins Paris Native Collagen Gel or Neutrogena Deep Hydrating Mask

For make up

Foundation brush: No brush, just my fingers to blend

Concealer: Benefit Erase Paste and Benefit Powderflage Powder Concealer and Shiseido Concealer Stick

Powder: No using any powder (but have eyes on SKII’s loose powder or Benefit’s Bluff Dust)

Blusher: Bobbi Brown Nectar and Benefit Dandelion (my new love! also starting to develop love for the new Coralista, Thrrob and Georgia)

Eyeshadows: Am not adventurous over here. Don’t really use eyeshadows. Just use those in my Lancome Travel Palette

Eyelash curler: A cheap but good one from Daiso

Mascara: Benefit BadGal Lash in Blue

Lipstick: Don’t use lipstick
Lipgloss: Benefit Pocket Pal and Dior lip gloss

Wow! I can’t believe I have so many products in my armory. If anyone like to know more about any of the above products I use, drop me a comment and I could write a little more about it.
Anyone having as much products in their own beauty armory?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free Samples from Everyday Minerals Have Arrived!

After hearing so much about mineral makeup and their benefits, I have finally jumped onto the mineral makeup bandwagon! I learnt about mineral makeup brands offering free samples from Vivawoman and decided to give it a try at Everyday Minerals. And they have arrived! Yay!

Real steal for small shipping charge

I ordered the free sample kit from Everyday Minerals and all I had to pay was shipping charge of US$4.55. I get 3 foundation powder, a blusher and a concealer. I thought it was a real steal for just the shipping charge as the sample sizes could possibly go a long way. The good thing is also that you can order endless sample kits as the key to finding the perfect mineral blend for your skin shade is to try, try and try.

What came in my sample kit were:

1. Olive - Golden Medium (Matte)
2. Buff - Beige Neutral (Original Glo)
3. Beige - Medium Beige Neutral (Matte)
4. Salon Fun - Blusher
5. Multi-Tasking Concealer

I will follow up with updates on how my samples are going. So stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Promotion: Free Brush With Purchase of 2 Benefit Blusher

Benefit is giving away a free brush for every purchase of 2 blushers. Choose either the fantail or the slant powder brush. Enter code FANBRUSH for the fantail or POWDERBR for the slant brush. The offer is from 23 Feb 09 to 2nd Mar 09.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Valentines’ Day Surprise

Sorry for the radio silence for the past couple of days. I hope everyone had a fantastic Valentines’ Day?

Pleasant surprise

Well, I had a really pleasant surprise on V-day itself. If you had read my previous post on 13 Feb, I was wondering aloud which part of the world my Benefit cosmetics are after ordering them a full 2 weeks before (on 30 Jan).

Lo and behold! The package arrived right on V-day itself. Imagine my surprise and elation!

The following came in the package:

- Eraste Paste concealer (colour 2, medium)
- Powderflage powder concealer
- Pocketpal
- Dandelion blusher
- Badgal Blue mascara (came free with orders above US$35)
- Sample size of erase paste (colour 1)

First impression

Pending full reviews, first impression from the products is definitely pleasing. They have quirky names and great product packaging. Also, Benefit kept their promise of the the free Badgal Blue mascara as my orders came above $35. Bravo!

Can’t figure it out

However, I am a little disappointed with the samples. They had promised on their site that I would get 2 free samples (I was seriously looking forward to the samples so I know which other products to buy next). But, I only got one sample and it was for Eraste Paste! I found it puzzling that I should get a sample for Eraste Paste when I had already purchased the full size product. And the paste was in a different shade, meaning I can't use it. Duh!!!

I wrote to them and excerpt of their replies on samples below:

“We apologize that you did not receive your samples. We normally do include samples with every order placed on However, the samples
are subject to availability, so if the fulfillment center does not have any samples then they are not able to include them with your order”

It was really a big dampener as I was hoping for better customer service, like offering me another sample or freebie in my next purchase as a token of apology. Maybe I hoped for too much.

Anyway, I am enjoying the products right now and will follow up with full reviews in time to come. Keep reading!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Promotion: Benefit Valentines’ Day Special – 14% off all orders

This came into my inbox and I had to spread the love to all my readers out there.

In celebration of Valentines’ Day, Benefit is offering a 14% discount off all orders from 13 Feb 09 to 15 Feb 09. Just type in code BEMINE09 to enjoy this offer. Don’t forget to combine it with other free shipping codes as well - WORLD115 (free international shipping for orders above US$115) or PRETTY50 (free standard US shipping for orders above US$50) to bring down your total charge.

Oh, the free BADgal Blue mascara and free samples still stand with every order!

(P/S: I am still waiting for my order since 30 Jan. What's taking them so long? I wonder which part of the world my Benefit cosmetics are right now?)

Happy Valentines' Day - The Fruit Of Love

Valentines’ Day is round the corner. The air oozes with love but do you know what the fruit of love is?

Well, quince is the fruit of love! What is quince, you might ask? I have not heard nor seen any before, but it does look very much like and apple and possibly a pear. According to my search result:

"It is believed that the quince long preceded the apple, and that many ancient references to apples were, in fact, references to quince, including the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Greek mythology associates the quince with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and many believe that the golden apple given to her by Paris was a quince.

Ancient Greeks associated the quince with fertility, and it played an important role in wedding celebrations where it was offered as a gift, used to sweeten the bride's breath before entering the bridal chamber, and shared by bride and groom. These associations have resulted in the quince becoming known as the "fruit of love, marriage, and fertility."

If it was up to me, I would say grapes should be the fruit of love. With their antioxidant contents making sure free radicals stay away, I would say they are my greatest love, of course, only after my Prince Charming.

So, to all readers, grab a quince, if not, an apple or just about any of your favourite food. Load the vitamin C and have a Happy Valentines’ Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Good Of Grapes

It’s mid-week today and I realized I had not been eating too healthily for the week. So let’s talk health-eating today. How about grapes? I love grapes, especially the red crunchy ones. I did not realize how great these little wonders were until I read about them in an article at

Grapes contain great nutrients

Besides the very common knowledge that grapes are good source of antioxidant, they also contain 2 particularly effective chemicals - pterostilbene and resveratrol. They are phenolic compounds found mainly in grape skins (so remember to eat grapes with their skin!). These 2 chemicals that work as a cleanup crew, mopping up nasty free radicals in your body so they're less likely to cause problems such as heart disease and cancer.

From Wikipedia – “Pterostilbene is a stilbenoid chemically related to resveratrol. It is thought to be the key compound found predominantly in blueberries as well as grapes) that exhibit anti-cancer, anti-hypercholesterolemia, anti-hypertriglyceridemia properties, as well as fight off and reverse cognitive decline. It is believed that the compound also has anti-diabetic properties, but so far very little has been studied on this issue. Additionally, it is also touted as a potent anti-fungal”

Also, the resveratrol in grapes has heart-protective properties, regardless of its effect on cancer. Grapes also have anthocyanins, which attack disease-fostering inflammation, and vitamin C.

Grape juice as a wine substitute

We all know that having extra antioxidant in our blood is good for us. They help guard our cells against the free-radical damage that could increase the occurrence of diseases. Wine, derived from bountiful of grapes, is touted to provide such heart-healthy benefits.

However, to avoid getting tipsy from wine but still derive all the wonderful benefits, grape juice is a great substitute. Research shows that our blood will get two important benefits from the juice - more antioxidants circulating in it and more stable bad LDL cholesterol causing less trouble in our body.

The catch is that grape juice has fewer antioxidants than wine, so we may need to drink more to get the same benefit. But do remember to sip real juice, not fruit-flavored drinks, as the latter is only glorified sugar syrup – you want more nutrients and less sugar. Remember to watch the intake as too much grape juice can also tip the calorie counter!

Otherwise, do something special – like a grape dish. RealAge has this fantastic recipe for Chicken Cutlets with Grape-Shallot Sauce.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Promotion: Free US Shipping On Benefit's New Spring 2009 Colours

Benefit's new spring 2009 colours are out! Not only are the colours sweet as usual, the names are just as quirky and fun! The New Spring 2009 colours featured include 3 eyeshadow shades and lipstick colours each:

Eyeshadows - Flying down to... (orchard shimmer); Sippin' n dippin' (peach parfait); Samba-dy loves me (golden fawn)

Here's what Benefit says about their new eyeshadow shades - "These three new shades have just the right amount of soft shimmer... so all eyes will be on you!...Blendable, beautiful... this do-it-all shadow lines, shades, and contours your eyes with a lovely crease-proof, smudge-proof formula. Mix & match... layer on for the desired depth... go as sheer or as dramatic as you like with buildable color."

Lipsticks - Thrillin' brazilian (spiced chai); Lady's choice (naturally nude); Passionista (rich garnet)

And here's for the lipstick shades - "These new full-finish shades are "full-on, full-out, full-of-themselves" gorgeous! Glide on to look instantly primped & put-together. With such rich, seductive lips, a little mascara is all you need."

For this new range, there is a free US shipping for purchase of any of the featured products in the advertisement above. Just key in SPRING09 at the checkout. This offer is valid from 10 Feb 09 till 17 Feb 09. So there is plenty of time to order some nice valentines' present for yourself or loved ones.

On top of this, you can still get a free full sized BADgal Blue with every US$35 purchase. There is no promo code required, as the product would be automatically shipped with the order. Oh, as usual, there are also 2 free samples that Benefit throws in for every order.

Go order and dazzle someone with the new shades!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Review: Helichrysum Hydrosol

Pros: Heals pimples, lighten dark marks, curb skin redness, reduces pore size (seems to be happening to me)

Cons: Unique scent (ok with me but might not agree with everyone)

I was first acquainted to hydrosols while reading a post on Vivawoman about the benefits. Hydrosols or distillates or floral waters which they are also called are the natural "plant waters" (which gives the name floral waters) that are produced during steam distillation or hydro-distillation of essential oil production. Hence, in the steam distillation process of producing lavender essential oil from lavender flowers, you get lavender hydrosols.

Until recently, distillate water was considered the by-product of essential oil production and was discarded. However, as they became recognized for their own inherent characteristics and qualities, this water was kept for their natural uses. Hydrosols typically represent the water-soluble constituents of the plant or flower with some volatile components such as the essential oils. Since the hydrosol is produced during the distillation process, it may contain varying amounts of essential oil and hence the oil’s benefits as well.

I have been using the helichrysum hydrosol for about 2 months now and it is absolutely fantastic. No doubt about it. It really does what it says it can do. I used to have redness on my lower face, and with just a week’s use of the hydrosol after shower, it has been tamed. On Yours Essentially website, where I bought my first helichrysum hydrosol, they highlighted that:

“One of our most sought-after hydrosol despite its debatable aroma! Helichrysum is a healing hydrosol for inflammation, lymph acne problem, acne scars, swelling, bruises, aches and pains. It is a must-have for post surgical recuperation and scar healing. It is hydrating as a toner and appropriate even for sensitive skin”

Some other good things that helichrysum hydrosol does is:

1. Helps with bruises, wounds, scars and prevention
2. Heals the skin and is anti-inflammation
3. Clear acne, blemish and combat oily skin
4. Is a strong anti-hematoma (hence helps in reducing the dark marks from old pimples).

And guess what? Helichrysum is actually the immortelle flower, also known as the everlasting flower. Actually, this is the key product in L’Occitane’s Immortelle Range! Doesn’t this give you an extra boost of confidence in the hydrosol’s effectiveness?

Anyway, I bought my second bottle from Whoopeekiddies, which is much cheaper (ladies, take note!) and might try out the other hydrosols to see the other effects. Let me know if you are using other hydrosols so we can exchange pointers on what else is good out there!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Dry Brushing Is Good For You

As it name suggests, dry brushing involves using a dry bristle brush to brush over your body. It is recommended by holistic practitioners to remove dead skin cells, improve the circulation of blood and lymph, and enhance detoxification through skin. Dry brushing is a way to stimulate all the organs of detoxification including the skin, gut, kidneys, liver, lungs, lymphatic system, and mucous membranes because it provides a gentle internal massage. The gentle pressure of the brushing is also thought to have a calming effect.

There are plenty of benefits for dry brushing. Just to list a few:

1. Removes cellulite
(my worst enemy, which is why I had to be hardworking on the brushing)
2. Cleanses the lymphatic system
(aids the removal of toxins – the culprit for tiredness and lethargy and all kinds of sickness)
3. Removes dead skin layers
(you get nice, smooth, shiny skin from brushing, that you save on body scrubs!)
4. Strengthens the immune system
(you fall sick less often, and save on doctor’s bill)
5. Stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands
(the right hormones give you the nice pink healthy flush on the face, you want that!)
6. Tightens the skin preventing premature aging
(what more can I say, who doesn’t want tighter, firmer skin)
7. Tones the muscles
(no more jiggling after I stop waving)
8. Stimulates circulation
(your blood flows better, your energy flows better)

I started my daily ritual of dry brushing about half a year ago, after hearing about the benefits of dry brushing from my masseur. So intrigued I am about the benefits of dry brushing, that I bought a brush from her. It was not a cheap brush, mind you, costing about S$45 but I was assured that it is top quality bristles. Since this is going to be in direct contact with my skin, I had to be sure that it is of good quality. However, the brush used typically would be a long-handled bath brush with soft, natural fiber bristles. Other options would include exfoliating gloves, a loofah sponge or even raw-silk gloves. However, the advantage of the long-handled brush over the other options is that body parts not accessible by arm-reach can be reached by the long handle brush.

It is recommended that you start the day with a dry brushing session, prior to your morning shower. I do that and it does not add more than 5-10 min of time. I treat it as a nice me-time, doing something beneficial for my body. The dry brushing helps to shed the dead skin, and you can wash off during the shower and moisturize afterwards. Use long brisk strokes starting from the feet towards the heart. Always remember to stroke towards the heart to accelerate the disposal of toxins through the lymph system. I felt invigorated in the mornings after the dry brushing and I definitely feel more awake and alert. There is a vast difference during the days where I had to skip the dry brushing, I feel generally lethargic and sleepy.

Point to note, physical improvement would take a few months to show long term effects. Nonetheless, you get instant a clearer mind and boosted spirit from a quick morning session. What a wonderful way to start the day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Review: Etude House Fresh Cool BB Mousse SPF30 PA++

Pros: Pleasant scent, medium coverage, sun protection of SPF 30, smooth blending, water-based mousse, nice sized packaging, cool neat mousse dispenser, one shade that adapts to skin tone (no hassle of finding the right foundation shade), cheap (only if purchased in Korea)

Cons: Not available in Singapore (available in KL and Bangkok), cheap only if purchased in Korea, can’t see when product is finishing, (update 11 Feb: I forgot to say that I hate the messy fingers I get from applying the mousse. No thanks to its watery nature. Anyway, no perfect world out there - I am still loving my mousse!)

Having heard some much raves about BB creams and their wonders, I am finally officiated into the BB cream fraternity when I my pal, Regina came back from Korea and bought me this BB Mousse. She had tried several brands of BB creams before this but she swears by mousse now.

I don’t see a lot of mousse form BB creams in the market, and I believe Etude House is one of pioneer of such mousse form BB creams. It is really fantastic, and I am now a total covert.

Pleasant scent, medium coverage, sun protection

First of all, the mousse delights with a faint floral scent, so this makes me look forward to using it everyday. The mousse comes out nice and smooth and one pump is sufficient to provide a light to medium coverage that can last a day. I usually only do one pump and blend it well (which is not tough as it goes on smooth). Then, I dot on concealer to cover the pimple marks and I am good to go. If I want a fuller coverage, I just blend on another layer and I would have flawless-looking skin. Its sun protection is an additional plus. Since this is usually my last step after my usual sun screen, I feel like I am extra protected!

Mousse form, water based, blends smooth, adapts to skin tone

Like what it name suggests, first contact of the mousse to your skin is cool and light. As it is water-based, there is no heavy, sticky feeling on application. You don't need a foundation brush to blend as your fingers will do just fine. There is only one shade for the mousse but it definite works miracle as it adapts to your skin tone upon blending. The mousse appears light-coloured on the first few strokes of blending (you might look ghostly for the first 10 secs), but after about 15 secs of blending, it would conform to your skin tone. Imagine no worries about not getting the right foundation shade!

Nice sized packaging, pretty baby purple mousse dispenser

The mousse comes in a sweet baby purple colour and is really pleasing to the eye. It is nicely sized for the hand and forms a perfect grip when you pump. The can is not more than 15 cm tall, so it keeps nicely in any makeup pouch or box.

Cheap (only if bought in Korea)

For such a fantastic product, it retails very cheaply in Korea. It is about S$14 and it last for a long time. But it is only cheap if bought in Korea. I understand that in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok where they are found, it cost about double. So I am counting on my pal to help me replenish stocks when she goes there again.

Love the mousse, so nothing much to nitpick

I must say I have never had such good experience for any products I used. It is always a buy-at-wimp-try-a-few-times-want-to-change relationship for most skincare and make up products. However, this mousse is different. It is really love-at-first-use and I believed I have found THE product that I will use on and on. So there is practically nothing for me to nitpick, except that the mousse is not available in Singapore and the nearest country I can go to find it is KL and Bangkok. Another thing is that I never know when the product is finishing (although I wished it never finishes), so I cannot pre-empt when I would need a new can.

Anyway, if anyone gets your hands on the mousse, I am pretty sure you would like it. Drop me a comment to tell me how much you are loving it!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Promotion: Free Benefit Cosmetics' Pink To Please A Woman Palette With US$35 Purchase

This promo newsletter just came into my mailbox. I would say it is a pretty good deal. You just need to make up to US$35 purchase, punch in LOVE2009 while checking out your purchases and you get a free Pink To Please A Woman palette worth US$30. The offer is valid from 3 Feb 09 to 10 Feb 09.

You can combine this code with the free shipping above US$115 code – WORLD115. On top of that, there is still the ongoing free BADgal blue mascara promotion which you get when you hit US$35, as well as 2 free samples for every order.

So, to round it up, if you purchase up to US$115 of Benefit cosmetics from now till 10 Feb 09, you will get a free Pink To Please A Woman palette, free BADgal blue mascara, 2 free samples and shipping charges waived! But even if you just hit US$35, you still get the free palette, mascara and 2 free samples!

This is great opportunity to grab some beauty stash from Benefit! Just don’t forget the codes – LOVE2009 and WORLD115