Angelica duties – More Giveaways & More Angelica Comin' Right Up!

I haven’t been a very good Angelica Angel of late with my schedule and being way too busy / distracted to lay down some Angelica news for you all so I shall go ahead and spam it up in the coming May!

After all, I have some exciting news about changes to come to the Angelica skincare range!

Though, before that I should properly introduce you all to the remaining members of the Angelica skincare family!

Though the image above is an Angelica haul comprising of newbies as well as stockups – the likes of Iris Angelica’s Sublime Essence (I love) and Angelica Ultra Matte Fluid (hubs loves).

I’m sure you have all met the new and elegant older sister that is Iris Angelica, as well as the vibrant and spunky youngin, Angelica Lemon. Needless to say you are all a little acquainted with the standard products within the stable and always-there-for-you Angelica range… though there’s more!

Unmentioned in all my previous Angelica product round ups would be these little fellas – the Hydrating Mask, Gentle Face Exfoliator as well as a bar of Angelica Face Soap (my absolute favvvvvv item right now)!

I’ve been giving these items a run over the past few weeks and will be sharing my thoughts about them all real soon – with giveaways to come as well!

So stick around and find out more about what the L’OCCITANE Angelica household has to offer!

The L’OCCITANE Angelica range is a permanent skincare line. Check them out any L’OCCITANE store island-wide.

Thanks for reading!

p.s. I do owe you all some other stuff (Japan haul – small but exciting for me) as well but give me a while alright! This week has been brutal in all aspects be it work or home-matters (e.g. sorting and packing) as well as a little – though not so little – assignment I have undertaken which will lead to baby’s apperance on here again. So… stay tuned for it all, alright!

Look Feature: Tarte 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful (the pink one)

The other woman blush, Blissful is the equally beautiful but slightly less loved of the two Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush I own.

Incase you haven’t caught up on my little Tarte blush overview or seen the Look Feature of Blissful’s peachier sibling within my stash (Achiote), you can head on over to catch up with those first.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

So… about Blissful.

Tarte describes this universally flattering shade as a warm peach, which again is quite far from what I see in the pan but oddly enough, Blissful does turn up a little peachy once on my skin.

Though my skin has this ability to make all true pinks look similar on and make all borderline peachy-pinks warm, ditching all sense of pink-ness in them.

On me, I would say Blissful is best described as a pink-coral. I do see nuances of pink, definitely more so than Achiote but it’s got that warmth coarsing in it.

I believe that warmth is also what makes this blush a bit of a chameleon and while pink, would be a shade that warmer and deeper skintones can pull off as well.

I would say Blissful is quite a good place to start if you are completely new to Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blushes, or if you are completely new to blush in general and want that one shade you know would suit you no matter.

I don’t see how you can go wrong with this because even here, I have layered Blissful on a fair bit so it wouldn’t seem too washed out once the camera flash hits it and even then, it still doesn’t look clown-ish.

The versatility of this shade coupled with the ease of use of these Amazonian Clay Blushes, I think they would be perfect for some one new to cheek color be it if you are hauling it for yourself or getting a gift for a friend!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush retails for S$45 each and is available at all Sephora Singapore stores. This is a permanent item.

Thanks for reading!

Look Feature: Tarte 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Achiote

Remember how I mentioned in my little Tarte blush round-up (of my wee collection) that the 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blushes look a lot better worn as opposed to swatched on the hand?

Well, here you go, a little look at how I like to wear it on my cheeks.

As far as blush goes, I personally prefer a soft touch of color, nothing too intense.

That’s an odd statement because a smack of blush isn’t always the best look for anyone anyway, but some people can get away with more prominent sweeps of color… Though sadly, I’m not one of those.

The pictures snapped here are taken indoors with harsh camera flash to light it up, hence it could wash some color out. Thankfully you can see a good amount of it still, but lets just say everything looks nicer in person. Heh!

Tarte describes Achiote as a shimmery golden pink, though in my terms I feel it leans more coral than pink.

On me, Achiote wears as a very natural healthy flush – a good mix of pink and coral thrown together.

As a personal preference, I like to wear corals on my skintone because they are more flattering or perhaps easier to wear, as opposed to pink. Sometimes pink feels a little ‘dressy’ to me, unless it is a soft cool pastel wash, but eitherways corals give a more effortless and casual look. A look I usually prefer.

So anyway, with all that said, this is how Achiote wears on me.

If you are a fan of natural coral flushes, this could be a shade to look into if you don’t already have it. The 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blushes aren’t total wow-ers but they are nice to have should you be looking for a blush to rely on.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush retails for S$45 each and is available at all Sephora Singapore stores. This is a permanent item.

Thanks for reading!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush – Blissful & Achiote (Swatches)

Heya, throwing up some entries I have done up but left sitting in my ‘drafts’ since this is going to be a busy busy week (weeks?) for me at work but I didn’t want to leave this space empty.

More Japan mentions and new / upcoming things to come when I get time back on my hands. Till then! :)


I’ll be frank, don’t kill me but… prior to the Tarte package from Sephora, I have never gotten my hands on these widely popular Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blushes from the brand.

I know these were quite a hit the moment they were launched and I was intrigued, yes, but given that Tarte wasn’t available locally (then) and the hassle it took to acquire them… I guess I just passed them up. After all, there was enough makeup distraction otherwise.

Now that Tarte is easily available to us, all it takes is a run to Sephora (which is conveniently scattered across Singapore too), so here I am finally giving these superstars a go.

The 2 shades I have on hand are Blissful (the more pink-toned one) and Achiote (the peachier pink).

While, from the case, they look fairly distinctive and different, they actually are pretty close from the pan and when swatched.

The key-point of this product, aside from its cute product-packaging matchy-matchiness, is the long-wearing claim.

I didn’t notice a 12-hour long wear during my short and few experiences with this blush, though that could be due to me layering them too lightly on for a more natural look.

Though I do notice these sticking around a little longer than some of my other powder blushes, still lending a flush even after a warm and icky lunch session where it always feels like my makeup is melting away. I have read that the deeper and more intense shades tend to stick around longer, so perhaps it is because these are the more natural and lighter shades – as with the nude-lip logic, deeper and intense colors tend to ‘stain’ better!

Apart from the long-wearing aspect, these Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blushes are also nutrient-rich, infused with natural clay harvested from the Amazon River – hence its name!

While skincare benefits are the more immediate thing I look for when scouting for a blush, it is still something nice to know and consider.

Those with oily skin will be pleased to know that Amazonian Clay minimizes oil in and around the pores, allowing this blush to combat sebum and stick on for a little while longer.

On the otherhand, dry skin users will benefit from the nourishing and hydrating properties found within the clay.

On top of all that, the Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush is also free from Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Fragrances, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, GMOs, and Triclosan. Phew!

Now, lets get to the colors shall we?

I did some hand swatches with these and for some odd reason, these blushes didn’t swatch very potently and well via finger-swatching thus the intensity seen here is a few layers combined. Though they do, somehow, pick up and blend well with a cheek brush.

Blissful –

Blissful is a soft pink shade that leans a little warm, so you don’t get a frosty cool dose of pink if you are wary of shades like that.

It seems to warm up a little more on my skin and ends up blending out to be a very natural shade, fool-proof almost.

Achiote –

The slightly peachier sibling of Blissful, Achiote looks very similar in the pan and while it doesn’t look a mile of a difference once swatched it is notably a little peachier on. There is a stronger hint of warmth as opposed to a flush and I find myself reaching for this a little more often – I’m quite a peach-fan, as opposed to pinks.

Overall,

I don’t know what I was expecting with these and for some reason (note: I never really read reviews or searched these up), I expected the Amazonian Clay 24 Hour blushes to be a little more pigmented as opposed to being natural and sheer – which they are. Though I don’t mind this, I was just a little taken aback.

The sheer and natural quality allows for you to easily blend on a soft flush without ever having to worry about overdoing it. Though if you are layering this you could.

I think they are nice to have around in one or two shades you will reach for on a daily basis to use since they are quite no-brainer and they seem pretty hardy to throw about in your makeup pouch if you’re doing your makeup after the gym and such.

I can’t say I am super impressed by these and I am still a little perplexed over the hype they kicked up but… they are not bad products. Nice natural and soft flushes that are available in quite an array of shades, not bad and worth a look!

Tarte Amazonian Clay 24 Hour Blush is available at Sephora Singapore for S$45. These are permanent

I’ll post up some face shots with these soon, to better showcase them! Thanks for reading!

Makeup I Packed for Tokyo!

Hello again everyone!

I’m back with a bit more of a proper entry as opposed to the quickly churned out mention about Summer Blues earlier. I was catching up on my feed and couldn’t help but notice that color being so prominent this Summer I just had to do a quick share, even if I didn’t have much time to do up a proper one.

So anyway, thank you all for being patient with my absence and I am afraid I will request for even more patience to come, since returning from a (fairly) long trip always means a crapload to clear at work.

Le sigh.

To tide you over, I figured I would quickly share some makeup items I had packed along with me on my journey to Tokyo.

Though I know a lot of you are probably shouting at the screen saying, “Why pack? Buy it all there!“.

Yes, in an ideal situation where money grew on trees and drawers are bottom-less, I would love to.

Alright, maybe the money on trees part is an exaggeration since their cosmetics can be considerably priced as compared to Singapore’s cosmetics but… I really didn’t need more (and then there’s the haul to come…), so I would rather pack as well as I can and if I happened to forget anything there is always Matsumoto Kiyoshi!

First, let me introduce you to my makeup space, which I am so happy for because it’s by the window with daylight!

So many times I’ve been to hotels and all they offer you is that horribly dim and orange vanity light.

Who in their right mind would install dim orange lighting for the vanity, I have no clue… Well, it was the same for this hotel but I liked that they offered a ‘table mirror’ and a ledge by the large windows (overlooking the train rails too, so interesting) to perch that mirror on.

Well, no trains in the background at the time of the shot but check out how awesome the daylight is (for makeup)!

Pardon me if I sound a little deprived but back at where I stay, a daylight lamp is all I have to keep my makeup in check as I slap it all on in the morning. So now, a little sun is quite liberating.

Randomly snapped about mid-way done with the Lancôme Fraîcheur Rosée Eye Palette, pre-liner.

Right, where were we?

Yes… my makeup pouch, here we go!

Covering the Bases…

From Left to Right (sadly not application order…)

Urban Decay NAKED Skin Ultra Definiton Loose Powder
Talk about a long name… I brought this along because it was the only trusted loose powder (for keeping make up on and oilies relatively at bay) I had open in my stash at that time. Though given the amazingly cool weather in Tokyo, I think any of my other pretty okay powders would have worked just fine too.

Lancôme Mat Miracle 24H Liquid Foundation
Also one of the reasons for long-lasting fresh-face-ness would be another trusted base product. In Singapore, I feel I don’t give this enough love because I seldom yearn the need to look flawless for over 12 hours. Though when you are abroad and snapping images all the time, the last thing you want is for your skin to look ashy and dull! While the coverage is more than I require, it doesn’t feel heavy on and I would rather be ‘safe’ in case my skin started acting up while abroad (which it actually did by Day 4 – the weather is a little dry in Tokyo).

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC03
A concealer palette I reach for very often, it gives long-wearing coverage to conceal those pesky spots and blemishes without caking or appearing dry on the skin. I also like that it comes with a corrector tone if I feel my undereyes need a more heavy-duty touch.

YSL Forever Light Creator CC Cream in Rose
It’s funny how I haven’t posted a proper entry about this yet am using and featuring it all over the blog. I brought this along as a substitute for SPF given its SPF35 protection. Aside from that, I also like how nourishing and moisturizing this feels through the day which could sometimes mean mid-day blotting in Singapore but I figured in Tokyo, it would be the perfect answer to keeping my skin ‘supple’ under makeup.

MAC Moisture Cover Concealer
A concealer I typically reach for for my undereyes (on good days) because it is light-weight and doesn’t cake or crease though it provides only subtle concealing and minor brightening.

And then the Cheeks…

YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in No 9 Rose Epicurien
I found myself reaching for this a lot during the trip, mainly using it as a flush of color on the cheeks. I believe I had only used it on my lips on one occasion. It’s a perfect soft and brightening pink glow that looks natural yet present. There’s something about wearing cream cheek products (without setting) in a chilly and dry climate that just works, as compared to the humid heat we have here…

Make Up For Ever Sculpting Kit
Genius of me not to photograph the inside but it’s basically a contour and highlight shade within which was perfectly compact enough to slip into my makeup pouch for this trip. While I have been easing out of the contour phase of late (I somehow like the whole glowy fair and less sculpted / tan look these days), I still feel dependant on lightly carving in some cheekbones to be that much more picture-ready. Heh.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12H Blush in Blissful
I brought a powder brush along, just because, though I only used this once or twice, often ditching it for Rose Epicurien instead.

All about the Eyes…

Dior Backstage Eye Prime
An eye primer fairly new to my stash that I have been trying out. I have a love / hate relationship with this fella, which I will explain in its proper review but it works well enough to keep my shadows and liner lasting through the day.

MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Engraved & Star Lash Automatic Gel Eyeliner
Okay… this is excessive because I use both of these on the same area (my lower lashline) but let me explain. The Star Lash Gel Eyeliner lasts incredibly well on but isn’t dark enough while the MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a nice rich black but lasts only decently well, smudges a little by evening. So I would draw Star Lash on first, to ‘prime’ the area and then darken the look with MAC. In the end it all works out and it is not as excessive as it sounds, trust me.

Lan
côme Hypnôse Doll Eyes Palette Fraîcheur Rosée

I have mentioned it before but yes, this is one of my favorite all-in-one palettes and the sleek compact (and really nifty magnetic bit) makes it easy to travel around with. This truly is a palette that first pops to mind whenever I am packing my makeup bag for travel.

Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Mascara Feline Blacks (Waterproof)
This is reaching its end of days, given how much I have used and love it, but for this trip I mainly used it on my lower lashline as a ‘back up plan’. I’ve noticed that having mascara on helps keep my liner from fading or smudging. In the scenario that such tragedy still manages to happen, the mascara-combed lower lash will offer enough definition so my eyes don’t disappear in a picture. See, the woes of having watery eyes that devours eyeliners…

Shu Uemura Calligraph:ink Liquid Liner
I bought this on the trip without having used it prior, but trusted in Shu Uemura for having a kick-ass liquid liner that can deliver a rich black as well as stay on all day and I wasn’t disappointed. Though I actually did a double-take when using this liquid liner for the first time because of the unique brush tip – truly like a calligraphy pen – but it worked well to draw a nicely defined cat eye. Not too thick nor thin, my favorite sort.

Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil & Brow Mascara
My trusted eye brow sidekicks! Though I have strayed a little of late and going back to the Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil I get a little frustrated at the sheer pigmentation (which is a good thing for control) but I’m getting the hang of it again… I am sorry to have strayed! ha.

Make Up Store Marble Eyeshadow in Amarillo
While I do love Lancôme’s Fraîcheur Rosée, I brought this marbled pan of shadow along incase I wanted to throw in some variety to my looks. After all, while I can do 6 days with the same eye palette it is in our nature to stray, mix and match and play around with more. Hence our ever-growing and ever-exploding stash.

Let’s Talk Lips…

Dior Lip Glow
This hot favorite needs no explanation, I stashed this in the bag I carried about incase my lips felt like they need a slick of moisture any time of the day.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiore
The last time I used this I remember it lasted and lasted and lasted, not even showing signs of giving up after lunch! Thus I figured long-wearing lip colors is the way to go when you’re on a holiday and never know when you may need to snap a selfie after a meal! The bright hot pink was also a fun color to bring along, incase I felt up for a hawwwt pink.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red
I can’t forsake my reds so I just had to stash one long-wearing (see a pattern here) smooth and perfect red lip color. While not everyone is fond of how matte the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils can be, I actually love the finish – so bright and bold without a sheen or shine. It’s almost retro but definitely not dated.

YSL Glossy Stain in Bourgogne Artistiq
Aside from bold reds, I have a love for slightly deeper vampy reds too, thus the YSL Glossy Stain in Bourgogne Artistiq. One of my favorite vampy-er reds that I own. While glossy and slightly translucent on, it leaves a nice stain long after the initial glossiness wears off. The slight vampy edge throws a nice twist to an otherwise girly and soft get-up.

Dior Fluid Sticks in Pandore
Another red lip I had recently acquired. I brought this for the trip to get better acquainted with the Dior Fluid Sticks and I do love how glossy, lightweight and easy these are to wear. My only gripe is that they don’t stain or last as tenaciously through the day but… all the better to whip out and re-apply?

And there you have it! I forgot to snap the brushes I brought along but figured, they really aren’t all that interesting either (as compared to the makeup) because I do pack quite minimally and light as far as tools are concerned.

I have this OCD about fraying or damaging my brushes with transport hence only the hardy and (ahemahem) slightly cheaper ones get to tag along.

So, with all this talk about the makeup I bring, why don’t I actually show you how I wore them through the days, yes?

Day 2

Cheeks: YSL Rose Epicurien (layered)
Lips: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiore

Day 3

Cheeks: Tarte Blissful blush
Lips: Dior Fluid Stick in Pandore

Day 4

Cheeks and Lips: YSL Rose Epicurien

Day 5

Look 1

Cheeks: Tarte Blissful blush
Lips: YSL Glossy Stain in Bourgogne Artistiq

Look 2
(because we went back to the hotel to put stuff down and refresh ourselves before heading out for dinner in Shibuya)

Cheeks: YSL Rose Epicurien
Lips: NARS Mysterious Red

I skipped out on pictures for Day 1 and 6 but generally, these were the looks I wore!

This post turned out to be way lengthier than I had intended but I hope it is informative enough and interesting enough a read! I will have a couple more mentions of my trip, namely a haul entry on here, and post a travelogue on the shared blog that hubs and I both share – recently renamed (again, hurhur) to icywhims.wordpress.com .

Something about writing a travelogue is just such a perfect way to wrap up a trip, revisiting the moments and keeping it all alive on a platform so I can go back to it when I feel wanderlust creeping up.

So yes, stay tuned to that! In the meanwhile, hurray to the long weekend ahead!

Thanks for reading and do ask away if you have any questions about the products or Tokyo!

Summer Blues – Across the Board With Brands this Summer!

You know Summer is here when the ocean of makeup is painted a bright and brilliant canvas of blues from the deep dark tones to lovely sea-foam, baby blue, you name it!

Any sort of blue be it purple-infused, green-infused, so long as it’s blue, it’s a perfect fit for Summer.

While I used to favor the occassional smack of blue on the lids, I think I have become a lot more conservative (aka neutral) and less smokey with my eyelooks these days and thus the days of blue shadows were a little long past.

Though blue is still a gorgeous color I would like in an accent liner, or most definitely in a nail polish.

If you are a fan of blues be it in the form of polish, on your lids or perhaps the whole get-up, then this Summer is looking perfectly blue-sy for you!

Here are some blues that are rolling out from varying brands this Summer:

I’ve saved the best for last and they are these stunning YSL La Lacque Coutures. I love the look of both of them, one so cheeky and bright and the other so perfect for night (see, I rhymed there…).

The matching Eye Pencils to go with are beautiful too, great for when you need a lift to your look.

I’m sure there are more blue pieces lurking about in Summer and then again Blue isn’t a color new to Summer since it signifies all things nautical, which brings to mind Sun, Sand, Sea and Summer!

Though for some reason the offering of blues this time around seem especially rich, vibrant and bold. Or it could just be me paying more attention this time around, for some reason.

Either ways, are Summer Collex your kinda thing? Or do you prefer the deep dark and sooty hues of Fall?

I personally can’t decide myself, I like… a little of every season? Heh!

Thanks for reading!

Off to Japan! Sakuras, Wait for Me!

Oh my gosh! I’m in Japan with Sakuras all around!

Check out the beautiful Sakuras! Don’t you wish you were here?

They’re everywhere!!!

What?

What do you mean you don’t believe I’m in Japan and the Sakuras are fake?

The Sakuras are disappearing?

I’ve got Sakura all over me?

What? Pfffft.

Oh….

You mean like this?

Okay fine… I wasn’t in Japan and the Sakuras weren’t real. They were an image I took off Google Images, bah!

But but but but, you know what?

I am heading to Japan! Like now, right now, as you’re reading this, I’m on the flight there (or am already there)!

No kidding! I even painted my nails proper for this!

Nails featured on Instagram here.

So bye peeps! I’ll let my blog take a break from the churning for a bit and I’ll check back with you when I’m back (on 13th April)!

Though meanwhile, if you’d like to follow my adventures in Japan (somewhat), you can find me on Instagram at @icyabstract! I’ll be tuning in when I get wifi hot spots or spamming once I get back to the hotel, I believe. I haven’t decided if I wanted to get any form of data on-the-go or a wifi router yet.

If I do, I do, but otherwise it’s nice to go offline and just soak in the atmosphere of being in such a beautiful city with such a rich history.

Btw, did I mention it’s my first time in the land of the rising sun? Yippee!

So stoked! I’ll catch you guys around!

Thanks for reading this semi-craycray post!

In Some Dior News…

Okay, one more (forrealz), before I go!

I am mass churning these out in pictorial style because they are all already out and about (in Singapore) so it’s best I get word of them out first before I return from Japan a week later and it’s suchhhh old news.

Though yes, I do know that most of the time I am trailing and jogging behind makeup news, a little breathless and a heaving heap of mess but… for once, I shall run along with the masses?

Wait up for me!

So anyway, you’ve seen pictures of these, you’ve probably heard a lot about them, especially because the makeup scene was abuzz with news of these interesting Dior Lip products.

Is it a lipgloss? No.

Is it a lipstick? No.

Is it a lipstain? Not really…

So what exactly are these?

Dior calls them Fluid Sticks, I call them awesomely glossy and pigmented lips in a swipe!

If juicy translucent jelly lips that pack quite a punch are your thang, then pop by your nearest Dior counter right now to grab these up!

Available in an array of 16 colors, this water-based (yes, you heard right) lip formula is made to slide on moist and cool on your lips and leave a close hug of glossy pigmentation as the water evaporates with wear, leaving you a dense layer of color and shine.

I know the first question on many people’s minds would be how these compare to the YSL Glossy Stain. Well, off-hand (and this is really pre-mature), my impression would be these run a little thicker (but they’re still runny in comparison to glosses) and aren’t as aqueous as the Glossy Stains but the eventual ‘dry down’ feel of a dense balmy layer feels very similar.

I’ll give you more thoughts / information about these along with a proper swatch and showcase to come.

Though in the meanwhile here’s a little selfie of how Artifice (one of the 4 IT colors), a vivid orange-red, wears on me. To give you an idea of how they wear, with lovely pigmention and a jelly shine.

I don’t care that we don’t have ‘seasons’ here but these are so perfect for that whole summer-gloss makeup trend, especially so for people who don’t typically like glosses! Ahem ahem, me.

As I said, this is a quick touch and go, so I hope the pictures themselves serve as a good feast in the meanwhile.

Lips aside, after Dior had successfully launched their Gel Top Coat (not actually a gel, but gives that plush glossy effect), it was only a matter of time before they infused that same glossy long-wearing quality into their usual line-up.

Well, that time is here as Dior is doing an overhaul and replacing all their current Dior Vernis with a new and improved formula – the Dior Vernis Couture Effet Gel.

I’ve only got one of these babies swatched, in one of the 4 ‘IT’ Colors (complementing the Fluid Stick range), but I’ll give the rest a go once I get back!

Though in the meanwhile, you can head on down to a Dior counter (I recommend the Backstage Studio at ION) and give these a swatch to see how glossy and plush they are!

Do approach the sales assistants before hand to check if what they have are stocks of the new Gel Effect polishes as they are in the midst of replacing the range and it could get a little confusing for them and us alike.

So, did I do this in record time? A quick lowdown of what’s new at Dior right now.

I have some word of the Summer collection to share too but… I think I’ll save that for when I’m back. I feel like I’m running the clock here because I still have a whole luggage to pack so ciao for now!

Again, don’t forget to catch me on instagram if you would like to see glimpses of my trip!

Fresh, Clean Skin with EHA Clinic's Deep Cleansing Facial

Before I give my blog a little pat on the back and leave it to be its independant self while I scoot to Japan, let me first share this skin cleansing and prepping session I had the privilege of trying out.

So, as with my last facial mention, my skin is facing some dark days…

Okay, maybe that is exaggerating it but while scrolling through my Picasa Albums, I felt a little sob at how perfect my skin was during my pregnancy days.

Granted that has been awhile ago, this whole while (a whole damn year), my body has been balancing my crazy hormones out and that has resulted in some less-than-perfect skin days of late. I conclude normalcy has returned…

Aside from it being hormonal, the slight neglect I’ve left my skin in (really y’all, I just slap on moisturizers on some nights, no serums nada) due to time and what other random life excuse I can find, I know my skin has been a little clogged, a little icky and probably desperately crying out for more TLC.

So my point being, this Deep Clean came at a great time! While I did experience the Jet PR3 Facial a good while ago, that was targetted at prepping the skin for the complementing range and not a full-out cleansing facial session, as this one is.

My facial session took place at EHA Clinic which lies at a quiet portion of town – the office side of things over at Shaw Towers.

A quick pan of their ‘holding area’ lets you know that at EHA Clinic everything is kept minimal, yet functional. While they don’t have lavish furnishings, they make up for that with a whole arsenal of equipment stashed away behind a false wall.

Yeap, I got a peek of it, heh!

Here’s a whole wall of their certificates and accolades, incase you had any doubts.

At EHA Clinic, they genuinely pride themselves on giving the best of their abilities to the customers hence they do have a policy whereby each client should try (as much as they can from their own end) not to be late for their facial appointments.

Being late means the beautician would have to rush through your appointment which would then take away from being thorough and proper about it, hence!

Though I suppose we all try not to be late for facial sessions for the same reason as well, I’m guessing.

After I had a good look around and filled up some papers (first time visit and all), I was whisked away to a room to prepare for my Facial Session.

The facial room, like the outside, is simple but functional with machines (that aren’t kept) lining the wall, a bed on one end, a wash basin and also a small cabinet for you to stash your belongings.

What I found surprising was the amount of space in the room, given I have seen my fair share of pretty cramped-up facial rooms since space is precious and more rooms are the ideal.

I wasted no time – because I headed over after work and was really looking forward to dinner after the facial, ha – and got changed (to a robe) and started the facial session.

Step 1 – Cleansing the Skin

As with all facials, the first step is to clean the skin of makeup and dirt.

I’ve made it a point to wear makeup that is fairly easy to remove (I came after work so I had to have on some makeup at least) on days that I have to get a facial done. After all, I don’t want to trouble them with spending 10 minutes just to remove my mascara proper.

At this point, the beautician would access your skin and decide if the treatment you had signed up for is appropriate for your skin or not.

The initial plan was for me to try out EHA’s ReFirme Facial which is a skin firming, brightening, and stimulating facial session that I’ve seen pretty incredible reviews about. Though Vicki (my beautician) decided that my skin’s concerned right now wasn’t all that and if I went ahead with ReFirme, perhaps it could aggravate the clogged pores in my skin and cause breakouts.

Hence, if anything, it’s best to address my skin’s concern of congestion. Thus, I ended up on this route instead, one that my skin was truly in need of – a good cleaning out.

Step 2 – Exfoliating

To rid of any superficial dead skin, Vicki performed a quick exfoliation with those ‘peeling’ sort of exfoliants.

You’ll know what I am refering to once you see the image.

Now, my face is all nice and clean! It’s a little in your face, but here:

Step 3 – Misting the Skin

The next step would be to mist the skin and over here at EHA Clinic, they use a cool mist instead of a warm one.

I have experienced cool misting a couple of times so I didn’t bother enquiring but thinking back I can’t quite recall the full list of benefits but it works to hydrate the skin surface, making it more supple and also soft enough for proper exfoliation and cleansing to follow.

Usually a cool mist is preferred as warm ones will open up the pores (which rightfully is what they want) and if the pores aren’t ‘closed’ properly, it could lead to more dirt and dust clogging in them.

Step 4 – Diamond Peel, Scrubbing That Dirt Out!

Diamond Peel is a procedure I’m certain most are familiar with, just because it is one that is hugely advertised and promoted at beauty salons for being an incredibly non-invasive way to scrub (or rather suck) your skin clean.

Though I think, I really can’t recall right, that this is my first time having a go at it and well, I suppose it works!

It looks kinda creepy photographed but I assure you I felt no pain or discomfort through the procedure and Vicki was careful to skirt around the delicate skin portion (undereye area).

If anything, maybe a little sadistic sound, I liked the feeling of the suction and I can almost envision the icky bits of dirt being sucked up and away into dead-skin-abyss by the powerful ‘vacuum’.

Step 5 – Getting Hands On… aka Extractions

Okay, I will admit I have a love/hate relationship with extractions.

So let’s start this segment with Vicki offering to clean up my brows by shaping and triming them a little.

So… about extractions.

While there are many new beauty / facial innovations and a crapload of machines that can suck through varying layers of your epidermis or cleanse / scrub away at your dead skin like a magic eraser, I feel that nothing really beats a clean, thorough (albeit painful) extraction process.

Extractions have a bad name and I can understand why because they flippin’ hurt and are horrible to endure sometimes. It depends on your treshold and I do get squirmy at some extraction procedures but generally, I can bite my lip and appear cool / calm through it.

Mind over matter, mind over matter

I just remind myself how nice and clean my skin would be once it’s over.

Since I had some annoying spots and bumps on my face, I was ever grateful for the extraction process for properly cleansing those icky bumps out, even if it came at the cost of a reddish spot after.

But I’ve come to learn it’s a little journey you have to endure because my skin is always that much smoother (less bumpy) and cleaner a week after the extraction process.

So yes, I am quite pro-extractions…

Though to give credit to this place, the extraction process was the usual bout of wincing but nothing too painful or stinging and Vicki was skilled in being quick and thorough about it so I didn’t have to endure this for long.

Step 6 – Daily Dose of Vitamin C

After squishing and pinching my face about, Vicki proceeded to put a Vitamin C infused mask on for me.

The purpose of this, as Vitamin C is known for, is to promote skin rejuvenation and also speed up the healing process after the previous step of extracting and poking about the skin.

Vitamin C also helps to nourish the skin and improve the skin’s radiance, giving you a healthy glow! Very much as if you took a dose of Vitamin C!

Step 7 – The Massage!

I think this step needs no explanation – it was awesome, relaxing and totally necessary!

Using a Lavender scented oil, Vicki massaged my face / head, neck, as well as shoulders. It was simple and quick but so perfect to slowly wrap up the facial session.

Step 8 – Treatment Masks

The last step of the facial would be this, the treatment mask where Vicki specially mixed up a Lavender-infused face-mask for me (would differ with your skin concern) because that helps with controlling sebum production in the skin, especially so for my T-zone, as well as soothe the skin after the extraction process.

On top of that, Vicki also mixed up a hot-eye mask for me. While I had heard of these hot-eye masks before, trying one for myself was quite an experience. It was totally calming, soothing and the slow emitting warmth from the mixture felt extremely comforting on my skin, I loved it!

I look ridiculous but I DON’T CURRRR, as long as I had my clean glowy skin after, who cares if I look like the hulk with whipped cream over my eyes. Ha!

After Thoughts…

While parts of my face felt a little sore from the extraction, I was so pleased with how clean my skin felt (to me) that I snapped this shortly after I left EHA Clinic.

No brows, no nothing!

While the facial session, in itself, is a fairly simple and straightforward one that largely reminds me of the general procedures at most facial places, I liked that they included the Diamond Peel machine in the steps for that extra clean.

On top of that, I felt like I was in really good hands with Vicki as she explained my skintype and easily defined my skin issues (which were all spot on, hurhur punny), allowing her to properly recommend the right masks and treatments to better my skin condition.

It had been a good long while since I had done a proper deep cleansing facial and in that time, I guess I had neglected the fact that while I do exfoliate the surface of my skin from time to time, dirt and such does build up under the layers of the skin causing congestion and bumps to happen. No wonder I had been suffering from random icky bumps for awhile, I believe my skin was at its treshold of ickiness.

Here are some shots right after the facial (once I got home), where everything is still a little red and sore.

Importantly, check out how clean my nose / pores are!

As I said, it does get red and sore for the first couple of days but my skin healed up really quickly and by the 1 week mark, it was starting to look ‘normal’ again.

Of course a whole lot cleaner, less bumpy and with my pores feeling a lot more refined.

Here’s my face about a week later:

My skin looks a lot clearer and of course less agitated now, as compared to how it was right after the facial. While I can’t exactly photography this aspect, my skin felt a lot smoother and in a way, less congested too.

Congestion is something I can’t really snap a photo of but you know when your skin just feels cleaner, less itchy and ‘dirty’, somehow a lot clearer?

Yes, that was exactly how I felt.

Promotion for My Readers!

Now if you’re in need of a deep cleanse yourself, I’ve got a little treat for you all – a special promo price just for my readers!

Enjoy the Deep Cleansing Facial at a special price of S$98 (U.P. S$150) simply by following EHA Clinic over at their Facebook Page and private message them that you are a reader of Ic
yabstract,
or call 6235 3325 to book your appointment and let them know!

EHA is located at 1 Scotts Road, #15-01 Shaw Centre, 228208

Regardless of our busy schedules in life, it is essential to give our skin that deep cleanse every once in awhile, just to keep it in tip-top condition so it can better absorb all the other products that we lay on it!

Do share, do you go for a facial session on a regular basis?

Thanks for reading!

Headlines Hair – Back to Healthy (Looking) Locks!

I think that this is going to be one of my quickest hair posts ever because… it’s really straightforward: I’m going darker and darker with my hair starting to feel healthier and healthier!

It’s funny how it only takes one day, or rather one hair session, to destroy your hair and a whole year after to try and fix it…

As much as I love bleached tones, funky colors and fun stuff on my hair, it’s the simple joy of being able to be fuss-free with your hair that I really miss. I could go without combing my hair, ever. Even when it was at almost-waist length! I do miss that healthiness.

While it was all fun and games, my current modus operandi is to nurse my hair back to health!

I want long and healthy locks that I can hopefully, in future, perm into pretty curls. I definitely can’t do that with my bleached out hair, that’s for sure!

So anyway…

Here’s the belovedly faded purple-ish hair. Byebye, my dear purple ‘do~

On the face:

Lancôme Absolue Sublime Rejuvenating Essence Foundation, Urban Decay NAKED Skin Loose Powder, Dior Backstage Eye Prime, Naked 3, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner, MAC Powerpoint Liner in Engraved, Lancôme Hypnôse Star Mascara, Lancôme Blush Subtil in 032 Rouge in Love, Tom Ford Lip color Sheer in Sweet Spot

Time to slather on the darkness and faux healthiness, heh.

Hello you, hidden purple!

Because my hair is a little tricky – the bottom being bleached and a little more stubborn with keeping color, while the top is freshly grown hair and takes / keeps color well, Jerry had to use 2 different tones on my hair to give it a more even look.

This also allowed him to play around with the tones a little even though we’re going dark.

Who said dark had to be boring, yeah?

It starts with applying color to the root-portion first since those require more time to develop.

Followed by the ends!

While waiting for my whole head of color to develop, let’s take a quick commercial break and shift the focus to Hubs who popped by during my visit and got his hair trimmed / shaped by Jerry in the meanwhile.

The Hubs Intermission

The hubs had gone back to black, which he ultimately feels is the easiest even though he admitted the colorful days were a fun experience.

So while hair color is the least of his concerns now, he wanted a little help with the floppy mop his hair had grown out to be. Thus he requested for Jerry to give him a specific sleek ‘do, something similar to what Jerry had styled his own hair to be as well.

Since it was a trim and shape, it was super quick and in no time, Jerry had his hair cut and styled even!

And here I was still sitting with dye in my hair, ha!

The hubs is into this while Brit-inspired (in some semblance) slicked back hair phase and I think it’s quite neat on him.

It actually makes him look his age. I don’t think I revealed this but Hubs is actually nearing 30, nobody seems to believe me when I tell them that…

So anyway, it’s back to me!

After hubs was done, it was my turn to wash out my hair and that’s pretty much it for the whole transformation aspect of things.

Though to continue on the route of hair repair and recovery, I did a quick hair nourishing session which included a hair mask and the cool sci-fi head-steaming machine again.

After all that, ready to see how ‘healthy’ and ‘normal’ my hair has become?

Well, I’ve already disclosed it on instagram so no point throwing suspense on here, tada~

On a side-note, my hair is pretty long now! Objectively speaking, that is…

Jerry suggested to trim it a little but I told him to hold it off, at least until after the Japan trip. I think this current length is most candid-appropriate without much styling fuss required, most ideal for a holiday!

Which would mean I could be getting a fresh chop next visit since… if I can’t play with color, why not play with cut, yes?

Here’s how my hair looks in indoor-lighting:

My hair, while dark, is a mix of 2 colors and intensities.

Instead of the usual of ombre-hocuspocus of having a darker base color and lighter ends, I have mind done the reversed way with darker ends for a more voluminous look, along with a warmer mocha tone closer to the roots to add some highlight and shine to the ‘do.

Onward to the sun, shall we?

In t
he sun, the lower portions aren’t as deep and dark. I also like how the bright sun rays bring out the ashy-green undertones of the deeper color. Jerry specifically went the ashy-green-brown way to try and eliminate what was left of the fading purple bits.

Yes, the wind still wasn’t letting up this time around. I think it’s this particular photo-spot of mine that is exceptionally windy but what can I do, it’s a nice quiet area with good sun (and annoying wind).

All in all, I never thought I would be this happy about ‘normal’ hair again but I am. And a part of me is anticipating the ends to fade a little to leave an odd (yet interesting) ashy highlight running through my hair.

If you have gone through your bout of crazy hair colors and would like to revisit some normalcy, go look Jerry up and I’m sure he can whip up a little something for you!

HEADLINES HAIRDRESSING
18 Cross Street, #01-15
China Square Central

Operating Hours:
Monday – Friday 10.30am – 8.30pm
Saturday 10.30am – 7pm
Sunday & Public Holidays 10.30am – 5pm

Jerry is personally off on Tuesdays.

Do call +65 6221 6866 to book an appointment as their schedule can be quite packed!

Also, check out their Facebook Page for more of their ‘works’!

Quote ‘SARA’ at the salon for a 15% discount!
*not applicable for promotions

Thanks for reading!