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