Monday, 21 July 2014

Beauty Wishlist

L-R Clockwise: Nars Sheer Glow, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer, Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask, Benefit They're Real Eyeliner, Laneige Serum Intense Lipstick in Neon Orange

You know, it’s just occurred to me that most of my money goes into food and beauty. Like, I have no problem spending an absurd amount of money on food or beauty goods, but I umm and ahh over a $40 dress (and 9/10 end up not buying it). This explains why I am pudgy and have a wardrobe that is more like a beauty stockroom. And really, the latter is getting a little out of hand so I’ve decided that I need to put myself on a shopping ban. 
Starting now. 

Okay, maybe tomorrow because there are a still things I need to get before my wallet can hibernate. 
But I’ve already got a list in my head of things I want to get when I’m off my shopping ban! Ahah. Here are some of the things I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on!

1. NARS Sheer Glow
Everyone seems to love this foundation and, because of that, I've stayed far away. As I often say, cult products rarely work for me. Some likened it to YSL’s Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation which I already own and so I didn’t think I’d need another similar product. But about a week ago, a friend and I were killing time at the beauty counters and we swatched some on the back of my hand. I patted it onto my hand and, surprisingly, it was quite hydrating despite its medium coverage. It’s easily blended out and didn’t seem to sink into the dry patches on the back of my hand. I’m very impressed! Having said that, it’s very likely that I’ll do some more research and sampling before I commit!

2. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
I’ve actually just started using concealer this year despite the fact that my eye bags are bruisy purple. I’ve always stayed away from concealers because of how dry and chalky they look on my under eye area, which is super dry as it is. I’ve always just used liquid foundation to conceal and, to be honest, it doesn't conceal a lot. Anyway, my under eye area is looking a lot less dehydrated lately and so I’m beginning to think that maybe I can look for a concealer to hide my dark circles. The NARS concealer seems highly recommended for dry skin types since it is quite creamy and liquidy. Again, will test before I buy!

3. Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer
I’ve been meaning to pick this up for awhile now but I can’t decide whether I want the primer or tinted moisturiser! I hear the tinted moisturiser does pretty much the same thing as a primer. Anyone else tried either and can given me some tips?

4. Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask
Okay, this one will be on my wishlist for a LONNNGGG time because it costs way too much and even my obsession with everything rose won’t allow me to buy this. But nonetheless, it’s something to aspire to! Sisley says that this luxurious anti-aging mask will plump, revitalise and restore skin. Sounds like a dream for tired and dehydrated skin!

5. Benefit They’re Real Eyeliner
An angled pen eyeliner - why didn’t anyone think of that earlier?! I haven’t seen this in person but the swatches online look very tempting. The colour is the type of pitch black I love on my eyes. I’d imagine that the tip would make it really easy to tight line too! Fortunately for my wallet, I’ve got a few unopened eyeliners left so I’ll be using those ones up first.

6. Laneige Serum Intense Lipstick in Neon Orange
Those who have watched the K-drama 'You Who Came From The Stars' might recognise the main character using this orange shade. It looks absolutely gorgeous on Cheon Song Yi and I’m not sure whether it’s the shade or the shape of her lips that makes the lipstick look so appealing. But since I can’t do anything about how my lips look, I’m going to choose to believe that it’s the former. The Serum Intense lipsticks are known for their ability to hydrate the lips whilst giving them an intense dose of colour. Most swatches I’ve seen online seem to show how pigmented the shades are. I’ve just started to wear lipstick so I’m really interested in how this will work on my dry lips!

What’s on your wishlist right now? 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Cetaphil's Intensive Moisturising Cream - For Very Dry Hands, Feet, Elbows and Knees

The funny thing is, I actually bought Cetaphil's Intensive Moisturising Cream - For Very Dry Hands, Feet, Elbows and Knees by accident! I was supposed to be picking up a back up of Ceptahil's DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion For Dry to Very Dry Skin, which is a really nice light and basic face cream for when I'm going through a really, really sensitive phase. 

Blame it on the fact that they both are packaged in boxes. I had no idea until a few months ago when I ran out of my Ultra Hydrating Lotion. 

But luckily, this is actually a good product! I have had contact dermatitis since my early teens and have been using steroid creams since then. The skin on my hands, but especially my fingers, are now extremely dry, thin, crackly and wrinkly because of it. My dermatitis has been so severe that it's been impossible to use hand creams because they often sting and irritate my open wounds.

But I've finally found a good herbalist who has helped me minimise the effects of my dermatitis and without the use of steroid creams as well! I don't have open wounds anymore and as long as the hand cream is light in ingredients and texture, my hands can take it!

This cream contains one of my favourite skincare ingredients - shea butter! As many of you may already know, shea butter is especially good for nourishing and repairing very dry skin. Cetaphil says that this ingredient has been added to help restore the skin's protective barrier and to lock in moisture.
The other advantages of this cream is that it is fragrance free and non-irritating. My hands have not been irritated once, which is amazing for me! When my hands had open wounds, they'd always get itchy if the cream was scented or had loads of ingredients in it. So I can say that this is definitely safe for people with quite sensitive and fragile skin.

When I first squeezed it out, I thought the cream looked too light which is never good because I like something heavier. But the cream is actually quite emollient and it feels perfect very nourishing on my hand. The cream is very comfortable and my hands feel gloved in moisture - not an overstatement at all! This is because once your spread the cream, it lingers for the briefest moment on the skin before fully sinking in. My hands feel instantly softer and smoother. They also look better and less weathered. 

Heavier creams generally leave my hands very sticky and they always feel like the product is just sitting on the surface. My hands look and feel oily, and I leave marks over everything I touch! This Cetaphil cream is different and I love how it sinks in very quickly after it's rubbed in. I love it so much that I have no trouble applying this several times a day right before I need to sit in front of the computer!

Overall, this cream is a very pleasant surprise! My hands look less wrinkly, especially around my knuckle areas, when I use this cream. I really think it's worked so well because it is a very, very basic cream designed for very dry skin. I definitely recommend this for people who have skin sensitivities or are going through some skin problems. If the sensitivities are quite manageable, I think it's always good to moisturise to speed up the recovery process.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday Reads: 'You're Too Independent!'

It's amazing how an adverb in front of an ordinary adjective can entirely change it from a compliment to something on the other end of the spectrum. For example, I'm okay with being called independent and I definitely take it as a compliment. It's an acknowledgment that I am a capable, free-thinking individual. But once you put 'too' in front of 'independent', my smile turns into a scowl.

As it turns out, I've been scowling a lot lately because almost every conversation I've been in lately has involved a lengthy discussion on how my alleged overflow of independence is impending my ability to land a man. More extensively, there's been this panic amongst my friends that I have to be paired up with someone before it's 'too late'.

No, I am not at spinster age. Far from it, in fact.

Indeed, the majority of my friends are in long-term relationships and the minority are all on the prowl to find their significant other. So to them, as someone who is not actively looking for a relationship, I am an enigma that they feel needs to be solved.

One of my friends I recently met up with for lunch grabbed me by the arm before I even got a chance to say hello and said, 'My friend just broke up with his girlfriend. He's alone! You're alone! If you two get together you both won't have to be alone!'.

Is that why people date these days?! To avoid being alone?

Another girl I was talking to was worse.

'Maybe you should look at it from a different angle. Having a boyfriend in your life means more resources to leverage'.

I almost died.

Partnering up is about sharing the rent, food and electricity bill?! 
It's true that I'm independent and while I can understand why my single friends are on the manhunt, I can't relate. Right now, I'm too preoccupied with stabilising a career and travelling as much as I can, and the past has told me that it's difficult to fit in a living and breathing person, who needs love and attention, into my schedule.

What's wrong with being single anyway? For one, I'm happy not answering to another person. I don't have to tell anyone where I'm going. I can wear whatever I want and I can eat whatever I want to eat. I make my own decisions and I run on my own schedule. I also don't have to feel bad for focusing on other areas of my life. The amount of time I spend on my career, interests/hobbies, friends and family don't have to be justified at all.

Some of my friends write me down as a lost cause - that I'm one of those people who don't believe in love. Which isn't true at all. I'm happy to commit and settle down but I haven't found the right person yet. I'm not into casual dating, getting into a relationship for relationship's sakes. No, that's not what I'm about regardless of how many pity chats I have to sit through with friends or distant relatives.

I'm really just holding out for the type of love where I'm head over heels in wanting, not needing, someone. Because if I may be frank, what I lack in my life cannot be filled with what a partner can offer. I have a loving family to come home to, good friends that keep me company (even if my single status is a major topic of interest) and loads of interests/hobbies to keep me preoccupied. I don't particularly 'need' anyone extra.

For me to be in a relationship, my 'want' for someone has to override the 'need'. I've watched way too many of my friends enter into relationships out of need and end up leaving in a worse off position than before.

I've assumed the consoling role way too many times to know that, that is definitely something I don't ever want in my life. 

via Vuible

And I'll be honest, I am of the picky variety. I am a nerd and so I like good conversationalists. 

That's it?!

Of course not. 

I am complicated and I know it takes a really tolerant individual to put up with me. The older I get, the more I feel like I have multiple personas - a game face, a friend face, a daughter face, a sister face...the list goes on. I do want someone I can just be completely real with. I'm always caring for others and I would love to be on the receiving end of it for once. 

But it took awhile for me to learn that it takes a whole lot more than 'I love you babe' to make me feel cherished. The average guy does not understand me and so I've stopped purposely looking for a boyfriend. They're interested and amused but they never cross over to understanding. I've seen and done more than others in my age group and people have always said that I am mature beyond my years. So it's been difficult to find someone within my immediate circle of friends. 

It is unfortunate that the guys I've come across either see me as a bro (my guy friends), a competitor (guys who see me as an equal) or a thing that needs to be conquered or taken down (pursuers). I've yet to find someone who'll just let me be. Someone who just acknowledges that I had a life before they came along and that I won't give up things like spending time on my interests, family and friends just for them. And it takes someone with maturity to understand and respect this. 

The ideal relationship would involve someone who is comfortable with my independence and what I want out of life. Someone who'll support and let me go my own path but will stay slightly behind in case I turn around and ask for reassurance and clarity. Someone who'll say, 'I've got you. It's okay. I'm just here'. Because despite all my independence, I am human and I do get weary and stressed

Until, I find this person, this single life is not as bad as everyone puts it down to be and I'm going to continue to wear my independence like a badge of honour. 

**Sunday Reads is now a monthly read and will be published on the first Sunday of each month!**