Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Review : Essential Damage Care Rich Premier Intensive Hair Mask

Winter is just around the corner for us Aussies! So hello to weekends away at the snow, nights lounging in front of the roaring fireplace, knee high boats, cashmere scarves...and dry hair. 

It's inevitable that a cooler climate brings with it coarse and brittle looking hair. Outdoors, we spend time being blown around by the wind and indoors we find ourselves sitting in heated rooms that further strip our hair of its own natural moisture. Don't even get me started on the extra damage we do to our hair that makes it dry, weak and limp. I'm looking at you hair dye, bleach, hair straightener and curler!

But never fear! Help is here!

Hair masks are a great way to both prep your hair for the winter and reverse the damage that it encounters throughout the chilly season. Like face masks, hair treatments have a much higher moisture concentration than normal conditioners and one weekly application really helps to keep hair manageable and healthy.

In the past, I've tried several hair treatments - hot oil, cream, leave-in, serum, steam and salon treatments. But all of them have come up short in comparison to Kao's Essential Damage Care Rich Premier Intensive Hair Mask. I found that this treatment is particularly successful at beating the cold weather and putting back the vibrancy into my hair.

This mask is designed to intensively nourish severely damaged hair and especially the last 15cms of hair which is prone to snappy split ends and crispy dryness. Apparently, the last 15cms are a year old and have survived through all the styling we put it through! I have a feeling that my hair ends might be a bit older since I don't cut my hair very often. Eeek!

The hair mask is enriched with pure honey and milk protein which strengthens and protects the hair. It also has shea butter and sunflower oil as key ingredients that will help repair and nourish you hair in order to make it soft, smooth and moisturised.

The product is a thick, buttery cream that smells like honey and Guava fruit - good enough to eat! After shampoo, I lather a generous amount into my hair, concentrating on the bottom portion of my hair. I like to leave the treatment in for 10 minutes before rinsing. 

The results are absolutely immediate.

With other masks, I'm either left with sticky or brassy feeling hair as I wash the treatment out but with this product, my hair is smooth and tangle-free. I can easily run my fingers through it without getting caught up in any of the usual knots.

After drying, my hair is noticeably softer and less limp. It looks nourished, healthy and oh so very manageable. It feels like each strand of hair has been coated with honey and the bonus is that it gives my hair the most divine scent ever!

It is recommended that you use the mask 2-3 times a week but I'm lucky if I can use it once ever two weeks due to time constraints. Despite this, I often substitute my conditioner with the hair mask since it has three times the amount of honey and milk protein used in their own range of shampoos and conditioners. So whenever I'm in a rush and my hair is looking lifeless, I will opt to use the treatment as a conditioner on my ends. Works like a charm!

This Intensive Hair Mask can be purchased at Sasa.com for the very affordable price of US$9.60! Tiny price for a product that works if you ask me!

So ladies, there's no excuse for dry hair this winter!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Review : Clinique's Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips

Some of my friends absolutely do not understand why I need a separate make up remover, eye make up remover, milk/gel cleanser and bar of soap to take everything off my face. They always complain that it's so time consuming to have that many steps in a skincare routine. One of my friends laughed until she snorted scoffed when I listed out my skincare routine. She's one of those girls who  fiercely believes in cleansing wipes.

'Everything comes off in a single wipe! Why waste your time on a million steps?'

I love the sound of a wipe that promises to take off everything but I am so very sceptical. Hence, I separate each and every step to make sure that my face is thoroughly cleansed. Of course it's pedantic and time consuming! But with the sensitive state of my skin, I really can't leave everything to chance!

Clinique's Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes and Lips is the first product that I reach for at the end of the day to take off my make up. It is an oil-based product that claims to remove the most stubborn eye make up and lip colours. I've been using this for years now and continue to re-purchase it time after time because it does such a fantastic job at removing all my make up. The bonus is that it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin!

I love playing around with my eyes and they are often dressed with an array of pencil and liquid eyeliner, various mascaras and a selection of nude and brown eyeshadows. So I definitely need a good specialised make up remover to make sure that my eyes are clean.

With the exception of the L'oreal lipstick, all the above products are ones that I use on a regular basis.
The L'oreal lipstick was a competition prize and unfortunately, the colour does not suit me at all and the formula is too drying for my lips. When I get the time to make my own lip palette, I think I'm going to mix this one out with Vaseline so it's more moisturising and hopefully the colour will become a little lighter.

So for this review, I have smeared a little bit of everything on the back of my hand.

The most important thing about Take the Day Off is that you have to shake the bottle before use. This is because it is actually a water/oil formula that needs to be combined in order to properly activate its ingredients. Trust me, it makes all the difference! 

When I don't shake the bottle, it takes much longer to take off my make up and when I do remember to give it a shake, everything comes off like a breeze.

For this little experiment, I tipped the bottle twice and that's the usual amount I use for both my eyes. I cover my eyes, or hands in this instance, with the cotton pad and let it dissolve the make up for awhile. Sometimes I get impatient and start pressing the cotton pad along my lashline to speed up the process.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT TAKE THE DAY OFF is that it removes e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Revlon's liquid liner and Rimmel's pencil liner are actually quite pigmented and difficult to remove with just water. But Take the Day Off really lifts everything off and dissolves it right away.

I also like how I don't ever have to pull or scrub my eye area to remove stains. Admittedly, there are times when I will go back and swipe my eyelids a few times to completely ensure that everything is gone, but there's definitely no tugging involved. 

WHAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT TAKE THE DAY OFF is that it leaves a thin layer of oil sitting on my skin. However, I think that's unavoidable since it is an oil make up remover and to be very honest, it isn't that big of an issue for me since I use a cleanser afterward. 

It's only an issue when I need to change or refresh my eye make up during the day and I'm left with oily lids. All my eyeshadows and liners just slide off if I don't clean the oil off properly. Water doesn't completely remove the oiliness and I've found that a milk cleanser is best to get rid of that shiny look.

I WISH TAKE THE DAY OFF came with a pump. It would so much easier to moderate the amount you use.

A bottle lasts me roughly 5-6 months which makes it a very good investment. A lot of you ladies have told me that you love Lancome's Bi-Facil and I've been meaning to try it for ages just to see how it compares! Has anyone tried both and decided to that fairs better than the other?

I think I'm going to stay true to Take the Day Off since it's works for me but I'm always curious as to how it compares to other products!
What make up removers do you use?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Apple and YSL

Hello babydolls! How is everyone? Hope everyone is well!

I just came home from a very quick visit to Hong Kong for family business and have a truckload of goodies to share! While I was over there, I bought a new moisturiser that is doing wonders for my skin, discovered a few more restaurants and met a lot of awesome people. You'll hear all about it soon enough, but as for a little sampler of what's to come, I'll share two of my precious Hong Kong purchases!

I finally converted and got my hands on the white Iphone 4S. I have literally used Nokia phones my entire life and have nothing but good words about the brand. The Nokia system is simple, easy to navigate and it gets the job done! Whenever someone asked me to type a message on a Samsung, LG or Android phone, I would get so lost! Their operating systems are so confusing! 

But all my friends have Apple phones now and they're always what's app-ing, instagram-ing, scrambl-ing, pic collag-ing, xe convert-ing and open ric-ing. I just knew I was missing out on all the fun!

I am addicted to 'Scramble with Friends' now! The addiction is insane. I used up all my coins in one day and had to sit around waiting for new coins before I could continuing playing. It was so frustrating! AHAH. I'm also immensely happy that I don't need to carry my phone and IPod now. I can have it all in my phone. Phew. One less thing in my bag!

Anyone got any apps they want to recommend? 

I also went and bought myself another YSL Sheer Candy. I bought Number 4 - Succulent Pomegranate which is a sheer pink with a hint of red undertones. Previously I bought Number 6 - Luscious Cherry and found that the redness in the balm made the colour too intense for day use. It's now reserved for going out or special occasions.

I specifically bought Number 4 as an 'everyday colour' that will give my face that pop of colour. In person, I am on the paler side and so a little bit of redish pink on my lips gives my face that hint of vibrancy and health.

The balm still comes in the formula that I adore. It smells fruity like mangoes and tastes delicious on your lips. The best part is that it feels luxurious, silky, nourishing and light-weight. It even conditions your lips while you're wearing it, so after the colour has faded, your lips are left looking and feeling much softer.

It really is better than any lip balm that I've come across, including Vaseline. I'll definitely be going back for more!