Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wonect Beauty Review: Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover

This product marks the final review in my Wonect Starlet journey, I would like to say thank you to the Wonect Team for giving me this opportunity. I have discovered many new products in the past few months, and have enjoyed receiving the notes which come with each month's package. It has been a great experience for me. Once again, thank you Roger and Harumi for your support!

So let's get to it! The Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover comes in a 145ml sturdy bottle and has been ranked number 1 in Cosme's Best Cosmetics list in the past.

It's a bi-phase eye makeup remover, which means there's a layer of oil and water which you have to shake before using. I find that bi-phase removers work so much better compared to water-based ones especially if you use waterproof or long-lasting eye makeup. I have been using bi-phase removers for many years as it takes off my eye makeup easier and faster.

After I removed the wrapper, I realized that the water part isn't actually blue but also clear like the oil part, but you can still see where they meet. The 2 layers work together to remove eye makeup quickly without rubbing or tugging- the water-based layer contains skin lotion-derived cleansing ingredients and the oil-based emollient layer sort of binds and slides off waterproof mascara and eyeliner. These ingredients include Vitamin B and E derivatives, Hyaluronic Acid, and are gentle on the eye area and eyelashes, protecting them and keeping the skin moisturized. The formula is also low-irritant, fragrance-free, colorant-free and preservative-free. 

Here's how it looks when shaken- a cloudy mixture which you then pour out onto a cotton pad. The mouth is the perfect size, doesn't dispense too much nor too little when you tilt the bottle. I usually use my eye makeup remover to remove my lipstick as well, so I have included swatches of a normal lipstick as well as a non-transfer matte liquid lipstick below.

Top to bottom- Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner (it is waterproof, smudge-proof and really hard to remove), a matte eyeshadow, a glittery eyeshadow, lipstick and a matte non-transfer liquid lipstick. 

Used one cotton pad with a few drops of the remover, the results above are with just one swipe! Everything came off so easily without any tugging on the skin, which is very important as the eye area is so thin and delicate.

All clean! Except for a little staining left behind by the liquid lipstick which nothing takes off anyway. If you're using it on your lips just remember not to lick them before giving them a wash. I did not detect any scent, and when used on my eyes it did not cloud my vision nor cause any stinging or irritation. I also used it on waterproof mascara and it took that off very easily. For stubborn and reallllly long-lasting makeup, just leave the soaked cotton pad on for about 5-10 seconds before swiping. 

All in, one of the best eye (and lip) makeup removers that I've tried and which performs just as well as my favourite Clarins Eye Makeup Remover! Would highly recommend!

Lunar New Year 2017

This is the first time in about 8 years since I've spent Lunar New Year away from my family. The years before, I spent them in Melbourne, Australia where I was studying and then working for a bit. 

Lunar New Year is also referred to as Chinese New Year but then I read many years ago that this mark of the "New Year" isn't just celebrated by the Chinese but also the Koreans, Laotians, Vietnamese and other Asian countries (except Japan) so instead of wishing everyone Happy CNY, I just say Lunar New Year to include everyone else who's also celebrating. 

What's Lunar New Year all about? The Reunion Dinner, Angpaus (red packets filled with money- unmarried ones receive them, married folks give them), cookies, pineapple tarts, Lou Sang (prosperity salad toss), visiting relatives and friends, firecrackers, prawn crackers, arrowroot chips, mandarin oranges; basically lots of eating. 

Though my family was never big on "Lou Sang" (the tossing of the colourful salad), I used to have it multiples times throughout the new year with my colleagues, friends and business partners. By the end of the 15 days, most would probably be weary of this prosperity toss, but then we don't eat it for the rest of the year. And by the time the next LNY rolls by, we'd be hungry for it again. Or at least I am.

Needless to say, I wasn't going to have any tosses this year because this celebration isn't recognized in Japan. I was quite miserable and missed my family and friends terribly. There were no pineapple tarts (my aunt makes the best ones! I've been eating them since I was a kid), no Lou Sang, no reunion dinner, it was so quiet. Y* tried to cheer me up by taking me out and to eat the things I liked. He even asked if I would like to return the next year, possibly without him as he may have to work, but I am not keen on travelling without him. So, we'll see how it goes.

My family had sent over a care package filled with goodies but they had not arrived and I was having crazy cravings to Lou Sang. I did Google for recipes online but the key ingredients such as chinese plum sauce and coloured crackers weren't available here. I left out a number of the seasonings and improvised on the sauce too.


It hit the spot for me and was so easy to make! I am probably going to make it more often with lesser types of vegetables to cut down on prep time. Fiance liked it too and said he's never tasted anything like it. Happy that he's game to try new flavours, also this will be our tradition from now on! I'm going to make it every year that we aren't spending it in Malaysia.

Have a great celebration, everyone!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Wonect Beauty Review: Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Long Long Long

No, that's not a typo on the title.. the name of product number 2 in this month's Wonect Beauty Box is a mascara by Majolica Majorca named Lash Expander Long Long Long Mascara. It also says "Fulfills All Your Wishes" on the packaging, we'll see about that!

Before I get into this review, I have to state that I'm not a mascara user for a few reasons- 1) I have hooded lids so my lashes poke straight down, 2) I draw my eyeliner super thick so it doesn't show even if I use mascara (only visible sideways) might as well skip it, also 3) I have sensitive eyes and many formulas (even high end brands) cause it to sting mildly and tear. I've tried to incorporate mascara into my routine before but it was just too much trouble.

The packaging is also in-line with their other products, and makes me think of a dark, sexy and mysterious woman who uses them. This mascara is said to "contain 5 times of lengthening component, rich with deep black long fibers to achieve an intense, dramatic lash in a single stroke" and "with a liquid extension effect, smoothly elongates the lashes to leave them long, clump-free, glossy, with a long-lasting curl".

It has a unique 2-faced brush, the long and curved side is for lengthening and separating, whilst the shorter side is for retouching. You can see the little fibres poking out. The formula is waterproof and is able to resist sweat, water and sebum. It also contains treatment ingredients to care for lashes. So many claims, let me put them to the test!

Lash details from left to right, 1) uncurled, 2) after eyelash curler, eyes closed 3) eyes open and 4) after using mascara.

I am seriously impressed! My less than ideal lashes were definitely lengthened, so imagine what this could do for those with obvious lashes! The wet fibres brushed on easily and did not flake at all after it dried, not even when I accidentally rubbed my eyes (I forgot I had mascara on). They are weightless, not clumpy and did not smudge at all. Although it is primarily a lengthening mascara, it also held the curl very well- up until I removed it at night. Removal was easy with a eye makeup remover.

The Lash Expander does live up to it's claims and I highly recommend it! A+++

Friday, January 13, 2017

Wonect Beauty Review: Lebel IAU Hair Mask

As someone with thick and super long hair (it's now at my waist), hair masks are a must to combat dryness, split ends and tangles. However, it's hard for me to find a suitable hair mask because if the formula is too heavy, it just weighs down my already heavy hair and makes my hair look limp and flat at the roots. If it's too light, it won't nourish my ends properly. #longhairproblems

Wonect included this Lebel IAU Hair Mask in January's box, and very timely too as I was at the last bits of my current one. From Lebel's website, it states that this hair mask is for rough and coloured hair (perfect for me!). It "promotes the preservation of colour brightness after dyeing, neutralizes the remnants of derivatives after chemical exposure, protects against UV rays and heat, and also prevents the absorption of foreign odours". Though it's targeted at coloured hair, I feel like anyone could use it because of the UV protection and also to prevent foreign odours from clinging to the hair. 

Ingredients include 12 kinds of plant derived oil, and has a dense lipid base. The packaging is sleek and the product is housed in a sturdy plastic tub. Upon opening it, I was greeted by a lovely scent.. it was rose but very "green" like cut grass, and fresh. I really like it as it isn't the traditional sweet old rose scent and it smells very clean and feminine.

The texture is a dense cream which isn't runny and I didn't need much to coat my ends evenly. I had it on for a few minutes and then rinsed it out. Some masks are a little slippery and take a while to rinse out but I had no problems with this one. After my hair dried, it was soft (no surprise here) but I also noticed that my hair was fluffier and had more volume. In winter I only shampoo every alternate day but even on day 2, my hair was still bouncy and without frizz! I didn't change anything in my routine so it had to be this mask. 

All in all, my hair definitely benefited from this mask- soft, smooth and bouncy. I can't vouch for the hair colour preserving benefits but it's a pretty good mask in general, checks all my boxes and smells so good too. Would recommend!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Current Morning Skincare Routine

This line up is working really well for my dehydrated, acne-prone, sensitive, rosacea skin in the colder months- a little lengthy but they absorb well and don't need too much waiting in between.

My morning cleanser has to be really gentle and non-stripping nor drying, this has been a favourite for years- sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser. It has a very light foam which I took a while to get used to, but it cleanses well and I love the scent. I then prep my face with the La Mer The Treatment Lotion, also another favourite which I have used up a few bottles of. I only need 2 drops for the whole face which I pat in with my hands, so a bottle lasts a long time for me. I do feel a difference in my skin texture when I use it and when I don't, it is softer and more hydrated. 

The Scinic Honey All in One Ampoule comes next, this is a newcomer- I'm still undecided on it. Not quite sure how it's helping my skin but it hasn't broke me out and my skin seems to drink it in (others have reviewed it is a little sticky). I then tap on some eye cream, currently using a deluxe sample of SK-II RNA Power Eye Cream, it's decent, doesn't irritate my eye or cause milia and isn't oily at all. One pump of Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin goes on, which helps the Scinic absorb faster. Followed by a drop of the Hada Labo 3D Hyaluronic + Collagen + Retinol Lifting and Firming Lotion. This one feels a little tacky so I have to keep patting it in. My current serum is the Clarins Multi-Active Skin Renewal Serum which has been discontinued but worked well for me, contemplating the Double Serum next.

In winter I usually layer 2 moisturizers, I previously tried just using one heavier moisturizer but it broke me out so I just stuck to layering. My absolute favourite and skin-savior, The Saem Snail Soothing Gel (full review to come). In love with this product! It's a very light and cooling gel which my skin really likes, and then I top it off with the Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream.

Current lipcare in rotation is The Saem Eco Soul Lip Oil. My night routine is almost the same, except that I use a cleansing oil (if I have makeup on), followed by Innisfree Sea Salt Perfect Cleanser. And instead of the Multi-Active Day Cream, I have on the Multi-Active Night Cream

Come summer I would probably have to pull back on one or two products, will update again then.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Empties: December 2016

Annazarube Ace Nikibi Acne Cream
Lip Smacker Dr Pepper Lip Balm
The Saem Masterchef Cheesecake Hand Cream
Aesop Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser

I've repurchased the Annazarube Ace Nikibi Acne Cream a few times now for myself and my sister. This is the best Japanese acne cream which I have used! They are especially good on those large painful pimples. I rarely need to use it these days so this was actually finished by my fiancé. Slather some on the pimple and the next day it would subside or dry up making it easy to come to a head. Already have a spare in my stash for emergencies!

I usually go through quite a number of lipbalms but this winter I wasn't as diligent because I've been using an amazing sleeping mask for lips which leaves them feeling so soft and moisturized, and in the morning I forget that I still should apply a balm. Only managed to finish off one, the Lip Smacker Dr Pepper flavoured lip balm. It had a slight red tint to it which made my lips look healthy and also smelled and tasted like Dr Pepper. Not bad but wasn't as moisturizing as I hoped.

My sister and I used to be big time Aesop users, we've probably tried most if not all the products between the both of us. With each purchase, they always give plenty of samples and I am still going through them. I remember trying the Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser in the past but didn't like it. It kinda left a film after washing off. However, this time my skin really felt good- soft and comfortable without any greasy feeling. I'm not sure if it's the weather being cold and all but I kinda want to try a full size now. Used it as a second cleanser, so I can't vouch for makeup removing claims.

I always have one hand cream in my bag and this one from The Saem is from their limited edition Masterchef series- a range of dessert scented hand creams. I picked up quite a few during my visit to Busan, this was labeled as Cheesecake but smelled more like coconut to me. Not bad, moisturized well without leaving my hands greasy and the scent didn't give me a headache (most strong florals do). 1 down, 100 more hand creams to go!

Hoping to finish up more skincare and hopefully some makeup this year!