Saturday, January 28, 2017

Rory's Story Cubes

The Original Set
So we went to Gardens, MidValley on CNY day and came across the newly revamped Borders. They had a new lifestyle concept going on with books, gadgets and even a Starbucks inside the store. Was browsing through some of stuff when i came across this. Story Cubes.

It is a simple enough game. There are 9 cubes with different images on them. The idea is for you to roll the cubes and then starting with "Once upon a time" try to make up stories based on the images. 
I tried playing it with my 8 year old, and she instantly pick it up. It's an excellent exercise in creative thinking and story telling. 

There are more variants of the standard pack which you can purchase if you want to enhance the game play. They also have an app for both ios and android which you can purchase at their respective stores.

The Story Cube standard set of 9 cubes is RM 64.90 at Borders, Gardens.

For more information click here

Friday, January 1, 2016

First Post for 2016 - The Right Skincare

I have been awfully slow in my postings, partly because I've gotten a day job since the past 1 1/2 years and those familiar with the PR line would know how much the job doesn't rely on normal working hours or weekdays. But, the key reason to the awfully rare posts would probably be because the last few skincare products I was trying out from reputable names in the world of skincare wreaked havoc to my skin. Took me more than a year (and lots and lots of RM$$) to repair the damage done to the skin.

Because of that, I had become a very timid mouse, avoiding totally from trying out the latest products launched to the public and politely declined those many freebies offered to me. They were all very enticing for awhile as I would never have turned down something so scientifically good to the skin but I had to be fair to my skin. Recovery was too slow but I got through it and the skin feels better than ever.

That begs the question of which skincare is right for me? That thought alone made me cringe in fear due to the too many choices out there, all promising the moon and the stars, whether they are from the more affordable range to those really expensive ones. Seriously, I pity you young lots. 

Lucky me, I have tested some of the ones that worked well for me the last few years and now that I've entered a new decade in my life, I'm matured enough to tell myself that I shall stick to what I know and scratch those itchy hands, whenever they feel itchy. 

I've had one conversation with a person who was formerly from the skincare line who mentioned that she hated being in skincare and preferred it better when she was transferred to makeup instead. Makeup is pretty straight-forward - the colours suit or doesn't suit a certain skin type and it is something you don't use long term if you don't like it. They don't normally cost thousands of ringgit unlike those scientific creams that claim to do wonders and if you use a good makeup brand, the formulation doesn't usually scar your skin unless you sleep without cleansing your skin.

Unlike makeup, skincare is deemed insincere and a lot of bull, she says. Scientifically, a certain formula or chemical works in specific ways when tested in the lab. But when it gets mixed with so many agents and other chemicals, coupled with the different chemical reaction of different skin types, how are the claims true in so many different environment and weather? 

Those are valid questions but we don't quite wait for the answer because we are awed by the advertisements and the reputation of brands out there with so many positive reviews and endorsements. 

At one point, I was even eliminating a certain ingredient in skincare thinking that if it doesn't contain the ingredient, my skin would be trouble-free. But it isn't as simple as that... at some points, we drink less water, weather is more humid or that we indulge in super oily food. All those are factors that can affect how skin reacts on certain days. It's quite complicated and unfortunately, I wasn't blessed with flawless or problem-free skin.

So I think the conclusion is, use what works for you. If it works excellent on your skin, doesn't mean it works the same for your friend. I know one or two serums that work magically for anybody who's tried it but I also found that when I've stopped using it and then revisit, I don't see the same magic results as I had seen a year or two before.

As I've entered a new decade, I find that skin consultants are also open in recommending those more expensive range suited for the mature or aging skin. And I start to see the adventurous side of me in wanting to try them out. I know I shouldn't let my skin go through all that again and I'm cautious with my adventure mood.

We'll see how this progress :)

Happy 2016 and best wishes!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Catrice Long Lasting Waterproof Eye Pencil.

Yes, I know I've been away far too long. Haven't been in touch with the latest beauty insights the past 10 months or so except for the short catch up here and there from the usual more popular beauty blogs/instagram I've been following.
I remember how much I've wished for the Catrice brand to come in to Malaysia. I came across it by accident when I was in Switzerland and I love it. It's really cheap quality stuff. Really.

I know it's been in Malaysia for awhile now but I've never really got the chance to check the entire range until about 2 weeks ago when I was at Guardian of Bangsar Shopping Centre and I had the itchy fingers to try out one colour from the Long Lasting Eye Pencil Waterproof range... also because that was the only colour left! Got myself an eyebrow pencil too and although that is just okay-nothing-to-shout-about, the eye pencil however got me crazy.

I've always had problems with eye liners, be it cream, pencil or liquid. None of them stay on my lids longer than 5 hours and even if they promise not to smudge, they would still transfer to my lower lids after a long day at work, even after I've applied eye primer to the eye area. Yup, that frustrating.

Recently, my most favourite eye liner has been by Clinique because it is not only much lesser in price compared to the rest of the branded beauty brands, it also has good staying power. But, it still smudges towards end of the day. 

The Catrice Long Lasting Eye Liner pencil however just doesn't budge, smudge or transfer. In fact, even taking it off using my oil makeup cleanser on my lazy days doesn't quite cut it. You must use eye makeup remover to get it off.

Yesterday when I was in Empire Subang, I was thrilled to see Catrice being carried in Guardian. And I got myself 2 more colours - my favourite blue, and a (dupe Clinique Peacock) green to replace or at least challenge the more expensive one that will run out really fast. Hehe.

Top to bottom: the grey, blue and green colours. Damn I realised I didn't even check the actual names of those colours. Too excited, me thinks. How else am I supposed to react for just RM11ish (read: eleven ringgit-ish) only per stick. It is an automatic pencil which means I don't ever have to sharpen it and that means super convenient to me.

I'm a happy lady. So happy that it is important enough to deserve a post in here after far too long.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush for a cleaner, healthier skin.

When I was invited to try out the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, I had a good mixed feeling of being excited about it yet at the same time a little anxious too.

Well, you know when it comes to using a cleansing brush for the skin, I have read too many ghastly stories of beauty bloggers getting sensitised skin and worse, over-exfoliated skin that are drier, with rougher surface and highly clogged pores when they were using a well-known cleansing brush that kind of took the world of cleansing by storm... for awhile, that is.

Therefore, although I was excited about attending the launch, I do caution myself to not lose touch with reality - that a cleansing brush, as much as a brand says it is gentle enough for the skin, must be taken with a pinch of salt - that not everyone has the same skin condition and not every skin behaves the same way. And I was glad that them folks in Clinique didn't discount all those concerns.

This is kinda interesting. I am very new with the cleansing brush because I wasn't into the cleansing brush craze when there was a hype to own one. So, I am not quite sure how easy it is to use a cleansing brush.

The Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush sounds so easy to use. You just have to charge it for 24 hours at the first charge and you can practically use without re-charging it for at least the next 4-6 months, if you use it everyday, once a day. Isn't that just great?

The handle is also so firm to the grip and the brush is designed in a way that allows you to use it even in the shower, without getting electrocuted by the device neither will the gadget fail when exposed to wetness. It's practically hassle-free except for the first 24-hour charge.
Bristles - I was initially worried about how harsh the bristles are but when all of us tried it at the back of our palms, we could feel that the bristles are just so soft. Of course, you can't be fooled by it as when it touches your gentle facial skin, the bristles can feel a little firmer, kind of like a texture good enough for use as a daily skin exfoliator - gentle enough to be used daily for most skins but no more than once a day because it still can harm the skin if used not according to recommended usage.

Rotating bristles - One touch of the switch (where you see the iconic "C" for Clinique logo), the brush rotates really fast that you won't even feel it rotating, more like buzzing and vibrations. And Clinique made sure to get this right with innovations engineered by a leading Swiss manufacturer to develop the most gentle and effective sonic brush technology. A combination of skincare expertise and technological savvy of a leading Swiss manufacturer.

Oval-shaped - As you can see the head of the brush is oval-shaped, mimicking the shape of the palm of your hand. Because you can use the brush in replacement of the circular movement you'd normally use to cleanse the skin, reaching the narrower facial contours around the nose, hairline and chin with the angular tip of the brush. 

Texture - As cleansing is the essential step in skincare, Clinique has designed the brush to have gentle bristles on the white area, while the pale green-coloured top portion consists of firmer, shorter bristles.

Angular - Doesn't it remind you so much of those oral-B electric toothbrushes that promise you cleaner teeth? ;P

It is quite a lovely package altogether - firm grip with a handle that's just nice to hold, it makes cleansing quite convenient. 
How To Use - Of course, you're supposed to use it as the first step to its 3-step cleansing but you can really just use an existing liquid cleanser. I prefer to use it in the evening when I'm not in the rush to cleanse my skin. You're supposed to remove your makeup first and then use the brush only after you have removed your makeup, as a double cleansing step.

Just wet the brush and pour a little liquid cleanser on the bristles, press the switch and walah... you're automatically in for a lovely experience.

Just 30 seconds - The switch automatically turns off after 30 seconds. And that is all you need to have good, clean skin. I must admit I was a little naughty in my first attempt, simply because I just loved the feeling of the bristles massaging my stressed skin. After its first stop at 30 seconds, I pressed on the switch again for another 30 seconds. And then another 30 seconds. 

Be careful not to overdo it - Now them folks in Clinique cautioned me against doing it for more than 30 seconds if I were to use this daily. Well, 1 minute is fine - 30 seconds on the face and another 30 seconds on the neck area, as you really cannot leave out the neck area. But that's it. To use it more than 30 seconds can actually bring more harm than good.

I've used this for almost 3 weeks now and I must say that the though the bristles are so soft to the touch, I don't think daily use quite cuts it for me. On a fine day, the cleansing ritual with the brush feels just fine... quite heavenly, in fact. But when my hormones are acting up and my skin gets a little sensitive, I can feel the bristles scrubbing over the skin, even when I'm not even putting pressure onto the brush. And you're not supposed to, either. It kind of feels like I could actually replace my scrub by adding the brush in my cleansing ritual. Skin feels super clean and I'd wake up with smooth, moist skin, as if the skin's able to fully absorb the night moisturiser and replenished the skin.

On the first 3 days of use, my skin looked magnificent! I kept looking at the mirror on my work desk because the skin looked so dewy moist, with a healthy glow even with minimal makeup but let's just say that as per any cleansing brush, I guess some of us may not get used to using it on a daily basis. When I started to feel that my skin became a little sensitive to the feel of its bristles, I chose to use this alternate days before I see any negative effects. I'm not sure if there is any negative effect to cleansing the skin, but I'd rather not see it and maintained the good results I've been getting by using it just 3 times a week.

Clinique did mention that for some people it's 30 seconds a day, some gradually to a minute a day but for some, alternate days would be just fine. You be the judge to what your skin needs and to not over do it. They also recommend that you replace the bristle head every 3-6 months depending on your usage.

This is what you get out of a package - the brush, a stand, a booklet and a USB charger. There is no power plug with it. So, you should be able to plug it into any regular device power plug.

Ok, I'm sure you'd like to know what's the damage like... the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush retails at RM360, with the replacement bristles at RM93. Quite a big sum initially but I think the price is still reasonable compared to other brands with an almost similar system. Of course, I am entirely new in this and I may not be able to give a good apple to apple comparison.

Why does one need this? - Well, I really cannot answer this on behalf of the population. For me, I've always been using an additional tool in my daily cleansing... I use a facial sponge to assist me in my cleansing ritual because I think my skin feels cleaner rather than just the regular circular motions with the fingers. Plus, I dislike wiping my wet face with the towel I use for bathing. So, I have a separate sponge for that part of my skin. Hence, I take the brush as another tool for me to play with in cleansing.

I'm not sure if you have seen this yet but would you want to add this to your beauty secret? 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tartę Maracuja Oil

Got this a few months back as a gift for shopping in a Sephora store during some special festive occasion and didn't even considered to use it.

I think I've been stressing my skin out after testing several skincare product in a short span of time. You can see the lack of updates recently because I've not only been busy at a new job but more so because I've somehow stopped being over-adventurous with my skincare excursions.

My skin has been good enough until early this year since I've been trying out organic and products without silicones, which meant plenty of trial and errors and finding out that natural skincare may not necessarily work as well as you expect it to work. Worse still when my skin's confused to it being oily to dehydrated to super sensitive and being so stressed out. Like I know when it is stressed out and I'd feel more stress with its condition. I get something to work well and then I add something anti-ageing to the regiment and there goes all the good results which I've been trying to maintain. It sucks...

Can't believe that I'm still in search for the right formula and trying my best to avoid committing to more skincare trials.

And tonight, I'm feeling all stressed up while I open up this deluxe sample of the Maracuja Oil which I've heard so much of... I can never use oil products for long term yet I have this small window of hope in me who'd want to believe that I'd find one that works perfectly... for more than 3 months, at least. Oh boy.

Now how do we use this thing... smells quite horrible too. 2-3 drops, ok.