Top Products From The Makeup Show in Chicago

Embryolisse cream – This gorgeous product sinks into your skin beautifully, bringing adequate moisture and makes an excellent pre-foundation product for the dry skin and combination skin types. I also ended up getting an oil-free matte version of it for Singapore clients with oily skin. It is a favorite product amongst the most experienced makeup artists, I had to get it and of course I tried both products on myself, good results.

Temptu Pro Neutralizer Wheel – When I attended Cory Bishop’s Color Theory class, I had an A-HA moment. Instead of just using layers of concealer to address redness/ purple/ darkness under eyes, a product like the Temptu Color Wheel corrector made sense, another must have in my kit.

OCC concealers – I am a HUGE fan of the liptars so when James Vincent suggested all makeup artists should have a try at the new OCC SKIN concealers at the blogger event on Sat, he was right! What an amazing product. Lucky for me I swatched and tried all the shades in the company of David Klasfeld, creator and owner of OCC. Formulated from the finest vegan ingredients available, these concealers also nourish and hydrate the skin with Cocoa Extract, Aloe Leaf Extract and Vitamin E. Of course, I pre-ordered a bunch of these puppies and can’t wait to use them on my clients.

Skindinavia Bridal Makeup Spray – After being a huge fan of their makeup setting sprays formulas for dry and oily skins, I picked up a bottle of this fabulous spray at the Alcone booth and am already a fan! Thank you Skindinavia for this wonderful product (and token of appreciation). Btw, Skindinavia ships worldwide. I use this over my eyeliner for zero smudge effect.

Smashbox Halo Yellow Correction Hydrating Powder – I’d been looking for a brightener/ color corrector/ skin balancer in yellow for a while now and this was a suggestion at the Smashbox pro counter at the show (Smashbox were super nice and extended their pro discount to me on the spot!). This is a product which will get used lots. I wish there was a cream version of it but for now a powder will do, little goes a long way with color correctors!

Vanity Trove May Surprise

When I received my most recent box of beauty goodies, I was expecting the usual range of samples. Hello, I was in for a surprise, a really lovely one, indeed. The May edition of the Vanity Trove came with a nice selection of products, vouchers, the loveliest packaging ever AND two special gems I can’t wait to tell you about.

First a 100 ml bottle of Style Aromatherapy Moroccan Argan Hair Moisturizer – a leave-in product that can be used when you blow dry, use a curler or a straightening iron or on its own after a shampoo. Why Argan oil? This powerful ingredient has been used for centuries to strengthen and care for hair, skin and nails, it is rich in lineolic acid (Omega 6) , Omega 9, Vitamin E and Squalene. I used a tiny bit in my hand and applied it all over the ends as I blow-dried my hair, and the result was silky, beautiful styled locks with a heavenly scent to boot.

And for the most unique product ever, the Braphy lip gloss and plumper – comes with a LED light and side mirror. This lip gloss was shade #2, a pink extra shimmery shade, perfect for a night out in the town. When I was out on Sat night, everyone kept asking me where I got this super cool gloss. It is small enough to fit in a tiny purse and carry around with you.

And btw during the month of May for SGD $35, you can order your Mom a Spring Special Trove as a Mother’s Day gift!!! The Spring’s Special contains luxe limited edition trove with the finest beauty brands from France, and twice the value of the cost. This is an excellent and lovely present. For more info, go to Vanity Trove.

All About Cleansers

I cleanse every night. If I don’t cleanse and am about to drop dead, makeup wipes/ makeup remover will do the cleansing but this isn’t habitual. Since about five years ago, I’ve gone soap free and as paraben-less as possible. Changes in weather conditions do that to the skin, some make it more dry and sensitive which is my case. Since living in Singapore, humidity, motherhood, all changed my skin. And the skincare had to be adjusted accordingly, less harsh chemicals, no soap, more moisture, SPF daily, brighteners, etc.

My three current cleansers are (from most expensive to cheapest).

REN Ultra Moisture Cleansing Milk – I looked for an alternative to Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser and found a comparable one [similar texture and quality]. This product is formulated for dry skin, it is paraben, sulfate, fragrance, silicone FREE, basically the most gentle cleanser you will find, very cream like and zero foam. I like REN lots, it leaves the skin feeling fresh and moist, removes makeup well and though a bit pricey (I paid 22 GBP for 150ml), it is worth the dosh.

Hada Labo AHA/BHA Exfoliating Face Wash
– This is a Japanese product. Lately and because I am in Asia, I’ve been using more brands from Japan, (SK II skincare is another favorite). This is a lovely cleanser, it has a polishing element where your skin will feel smooth and radiant and if you have dry skin, definitely moisturize right after. The combination of AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid and BHA (Salicylic Acid) gently exfoliates – and exfoliate you must at least a couple times a week. This formula is fragrance free, mineral oil, and alcohol. Good product, paid SG $13.50 at Sasa.

Bio-Essence Deep Cleanser With ATP
Another Asian product that is huge in Singapore, there are ads and promotions everywhere. While in the aisles of Giant supermarket, I saw a soap free, gentle cleansing formula on sale for SG $11 – why not? It is formulated as a daily cleanser. I like the natural herbal ingredients and ATP claim (ATP is an anti-aging agent). A little of this product goes a long way, it definitely foams up fast and gets the job done.

Rachel K BB Cream Review

One day while browsing at Watsons I noticed Rachel K BB cream from Korea [suspense!]. However, there were no tester products available! Since I love trying out new BB creams especially those with labels like natural or neutral color shades, I became even more intrigued. Turns out that Rachel K has a fab PR team and as soon as I reached out, a tube arrived in the mail for me to try.

First things first, Rachel K BB cream has a lovely scent, it has to be said! In terms of color, for myself, the shade was a tad too light for my face (I am more yellow undertoned and this had a lot of pink base which is does not work for me), I still like to use it as a concealer under my eyes though and on the eyelids. Why? It works very well as a brightener and since it is waterproof it stays on nicely. I like the texture, it is medium coverage I’d say, Rachel K blends quite well (not cakey at all). Another plus is that it contains SPF 35 so an added bonus to the protection of your skin. Maybe I should get sunkissed?!! Rachel K is available in Singapore at Watsons.

From their FB page:

Mineral CC (Colour Control) Cream is much-improved and refined BB cream (Blemish Balm) created and developed in Japan and Korea. It is formulated with pure minerals, making it suitable for all skin types including highly sensitive ones as the mineral ingredients do not irritate or damage the skin. It comes in shades: natural, neutral and sun-kissed.

Vanity Trove Rave:: Lancome Genifique Youth Activator

A Lancome Genifique Youth Activator serum came in my December box courtesy of Vanity Trove, and needless to say I loved every last drop of it. Serums are a must in my daily night time beauty routine, right after cleansing and toning, I apply it gently around the eyes and forehead areas which is where I need the most help as I’ve noticed some fine lines and tiny wrinkles [I need all the help I can get being over 30].

Why do I apply serum at night? A beauty tip – sleep is when our skin regenerates, using a serum formula offers an extra barrier of protection plus much needed concentrated moisture so make this a habit when you go to bed, and you will be giving your skin a real treat. In Singapore, we spend a considerable amount of time between air conditioning at shopping malls, work, home, leaving our skin depleted of moisture. There is an awful lot of technology and formulation that goes into making these super serums for a good purpose, please hydrate properly every night before bed. 🙂 is a brand new service that brings the best of high end beauty samples to your doorstep for $25 a month.

New Favourite Lip Balm Alert

My monthly Bella Box is always full of good products. For January I received the following BB cream from Dr Jart, a Lemon Towelette from Herban Essentials, Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel anti-aging treatments (whose brand and skincare Tweets I follow!), Belif Hydra Sebum Control Essence and MY NEW favourite lip balm by Pangea Organics in Italian Mandarin With Rose.

How do I love thee? First of all, the scent is mandarin flavored so immediately I was drawn to the citrus not the mention the soothing effect. Having just returned from a holiday in the sun, my lips were on the dry side, as soon as I started using this lip balm, I noticed a huge improvement. (Must be that super-restorative Tamanu Oil). Thank you Bella Box, like the OCC Lip Tars, I will be getting me some more Pangea Organics lip balm.

Follow-Up On BB Creams

A few months ago, I blogged about the rise of the BB cream in other parts of the world like Europe and USA. Balm Blemish or BB creams are an Asian trend with many brands available at most cosmetic and pharmacy counters. This little wonder offers an all-in-one service (primer, SPF, cover, anti-aging). To me, it is like a tinted moisturizer although consistency, coverage and colours vary drastically from all the brands. My take on it is to try for yourself if you feel this might be for you. Of the brands I’ve tried/ tested, Illamasqua Skin Base offer a great range of shades and is great as foundation without the need to pile on more makeup/ powder. And Garnier BB roll on cream works beautifully for me, in fact I use it as my undereyes cream with concealer. **Note, I paid for my own Illamasqua and Garnier products.

Brands offering their own take of the BB cream include Clinique, Smashbox, Boscia, Erborian, Illamasqua Skin Base, Bobbi Brown BB and MAC Prep and Prime BB Beauty Balm.

Terry Eclat De Rose Sheer Tinted Moisturizer

I have a confession to make, this was an impulse buy. However, unlike other purchases that sit in my cabinet untouched, this tinted moisturizer gets used lots! At first glance, I was drawn to the lightness, ingredients and heavenly scent of musk rose. It is tough to find tinted moisturizers that don’t make my face feel oily in the humidity of Singapore, let me tell you, Terry’s Eclat De Rose Sheer Tinted Moisturizer #1 Light is a winner. My only gripe is the fact that there no SPF factor but if you use a concealer or foundation with SPF on top, you’re in business. I tend to use this as soon as I get up applying it mostly under my eyes and face, instantly feeling brightened and hydrated. Next I’d use concealer and a bit of blush and am good to go! You can buy it online exclusively at Luxola.