My Morning Pregnancy Skincare Routine

      Ever since I was pregnant, I’ve become so much lazier in taking care of my skin. I just don’t have the enthusiasm to pamper myself and maintain a tedious routine in that matter. However, my skin’s condition just does not allow me to remain indolent about it.
      Within the first few weeks of pregnancy I started getting tiny little breakouts in my chin area, which is known to be the “hormonal area” in an acne face map. So I had to do something to keep them ugly breakouts at bay, but I knew I had to keep my routine quick and simple, which is why you’ll see a majority of products that I use in the morning serve more than one purpose.
      Using multifunctional products is key when you’re lazy, but need results!

      Read more


      Review: Sephora Favorites Summerstash

      Sephora Favorites Summerstash

      Ooh la la! These products (even the makeup bag) scream SUMMER! Although it’s mid-winter here in Australia, who cares right? As long as there’s still sunlight, I can pretend it’s summer. 
      And I think glowing skin should always be on trend, it shouldn’t be a seasonal thing!

      Purchased this from Sephora last month for US$45, and I think it’s so worth the money because it is valued at US$123. And I actually own 4 of the products in here already, so half of it is considered a repurchase 🙂

      So, what’s in it? Did I like it?

      1. Buxom Divine Goddess Luminizer in Venus

      This is a liquid face luminizer/highlighter and can be used in two ways: as a cheekbone highlighter applied on top of foundation, or it could be mixed with your foundation and applied all over the face for a natural, goddess-y glowy look.
      Far left: Buxom Divine Goddess Luminizer in Venus, one swipe, unblended.
      When blended out, it gives the skin an instant glow and lift without being too sparkly or shimmery.

      Mixed with Foundation

      I’ve tried a few different liquid highlighters before, but this one is definitely my favorite because I can mix this in with my foundation without making it look like my face is a freaking disco ball. The Benefit That Gal is a bit too subtle, it actually does not make any apparent difference to how my foundation looks on my skin, but Benefit Girl Meets Pearl is lovely, yet slightly too pink when mixed with foundation. 
      I’ve also tried the St. Tropez Skin Illuminators in Violet and Gold, but they can’t be mixed with foundation. They’re too shimmery and thick in consistency too be used all over the face.

      Used on its own

      When used on its own, it also remains very natural-looking and blending isn’t too hard. I love how smooth it is!
      I remember disliking the Benefit High Beam so much because it was thick and it dried up so quickly, making blending so difficult. Sometimes it would look streaky and patchy on the high points of my cheekbones.

      Final Verdict

      Love it. Staple! 
      5/5 <3

      2. Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Mermaid’s Dream

      This is simply wonderful, and would definitely be the perfect Summer polish.
      Seeing it  in the bottle simply reminds me of the ocean!
      Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Mermaid’s Dream
      I love how unique the pearlescent aqua shade is, and how beautiful it is combined with the complementing blue glitter particles.
      In the image above, I applied about 3-4 layers (with a few minutes of waiting in between coats) it without base and top coats – and it actually lasted a couple of days before it started to chip, which is amazing! 
      You won’t be able to get a 100% opaque finish in just 1-2 swipes, but it doesn’t matter as long as it ends up looking beautiful. And you do have to wait in-between coats because the texture is so creamy and thick, so if you’re impatient and just start packing on layers it would end up streaky and uneven.
      I would highly recommend this for summer, and even winter because the light blue tones can kinda be associated with the snow!
      4/5 rating from me – 1 point off because of its lack of opacity at one coat.

      3. Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Pink Escape

      I’ve already got a full size item of this, and I don’t mind getting the mini travel version at all because this is my favorite cream (or gel?) blush!
      I featured this in my travel makeup bag post.
      Far right: Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Pink Escape (full size).
      First off, I love how bouncy this gel blush is! When you dip your finger in it, it feels so plush and soft, and the pigmentation it picks up is rather sheer so you can build up the opacity and brightness of the blush gradually, which is great because when it comes to applying cream blush you always want to start soft and gradually start building it up. This way, you aren’t likely going to make an irreversible mistake.
      Second from left: Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee in Pink Escape
      after 3-4 layers.

      Second from right: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in 12L
      in one stroke.

      As you can see it is very bright after about 3-4 layers, so 1-2 layers would be enough to give the cheeks a pop of color.
      What I love most about this blush is that it looks like skin! And it lasts all day.
      5/5 for this product.

      4. Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in 12L

      I have yet to try this on my lower lashline and waterline, but on the lashline it remains budge-proof all day, which means it is PERFECT for Summer!

      I love the shade, I think it would work on all skin tones, even really dark skin tones.

      With one stroke, it is already so pigmented (see image above) and it glides on the skin so smoothly. I hate eyeshadows that require a lot of tugging, sometimes ending up scratching the skin (ouch!), but this one is so smooth the application is so effortless even on tauted skin.

      I’ve owned a number of these eyeliners and I love them all so much, especially the gold one, which I used on my engagement day as an all-over-the-lid base for my eyeshadow. So gorgeous!

      Can’t wait to try this and experiment with it more often! So far, it’s been really good.

      I want to give it a 5/5 but I’d have to wait until I try it on my lower lashline and waterline 🙂

      5. Marc Jacobs Mini Lash Lifter Mascara in Blacquer

      I actually haven’t opened this one yet because I have strict policy of only having a maximum of 3 mascaras opened at one time because their lifespan is pretty short (3-6 months).

      I currently have the Dior Show Iconic Overcurl mini, Tarte Lights-Camera-Lashes mascara, and Physicians Formula Organic Formula mascara open – I’d have to wait til I finish them before I start using this!

      I can’t wait!

      6. NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder

      I’ve used this bronzer for years, and I already have two of the mini sizes already. I also have this in an Orgasm/Laguna duo, and an Orgasm/Albatross/Laguna trio!

      I truly love this bronzer, but not for contouring! It’s definitely too shimmery for contouring, so using it would defeat the whole purpose of contouring. But I do use it for mild contouring on the nose and cheeks because the shimmer particles aren’t too crazy.

      However, I love using this just on the outer parts of my cheeks near my ears just to give my skin a bit of warmth.

      In the image above, NARS Laguna is swatched in the middle. My skin undertone is neutral so it can be a bit pinkish at times, so this bronzer would sometimes end up looking a bit too orange and muddy on me, but it works really well most of the time!

      I’d give it a 4/5 for being a reliable bronzer!

      7. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in New Wave (with lip brush)

      In the image above, this gloss is swatched on the far right.

      I really love the pigmentation, I just wish I have the guts to wear this!

      This is probably the only item that isn’t too winter-friendly. I’d look like a clown wearing a bright neon pink on my lips.

      But I’ve tried it on my lips and I love how 100% opaque it is even though I applied it with my fingers, although it’s a bit sticky. I can imagine my hair sticking to this gloss a lot and ending up smearing my face.

      I’d give this a 3.5/5 but maybe I’ll like it even more when I can actually use it and properly test it out 🙂

      8. Stila Cosmetics Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Kitten

      I actually don’t have this in the images above because I was too excited about it that I’ve already packed it in my everyday makeup bag (and brought it along for travelling as well!).

      I also featured this in my travel makeup bag post.

      Bottom left: Stila Cosmetics Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow
      in Kitten.

      Out of all these items in the Summerstash – this is my NUMBER ONE FAVORITE.

      I use it as a “top coat” for my eyeshadows, and it seriously works with everything. Every color. Every look. I just dab a little bit of this in the very centre of the lids, and my lids immediately look multidimensional and bigger.

      It serves the same purpose as the Chanel Illusion d’Ombre eyeshadows but this is so much more affordable, and its small size is also a major plus, I’m able to bring this with me everywhere I go! The Chanel ones are so bulky and heavy, they also dry out so quickly.

      Definitely a must-have not just for summer – for all seasons! I would give this a 6/5 if I could.

      9.  Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

      This is a definite must-have in the summer to prevent makeup from melting and smearing all over the place!

      Even though I have dry/combo skin, I would occasionally use this in place of my setting powder because this gives more of a dewy (but not greasy at all) look whereas a powder would mattify.

      I use this on my clients, especially for outdoor shoots and special occasion makeup because it truly sets everything in place! However, it does get a bit greasy and uncomfortable in tropical countries where the climate is really humid, like Indonesia. Tried this a couple of times and it starts feeling oily by the 5th or 6th hour mark. Sometimes even earlier, depending on the weather. So my solution to this is to powder and apply this spray in humid climate, which is a hassle but at least it works!

      Now that I have the mini version, I can bring this when I travel which makes me so happy.

      A 3.5/5 for me – really wish it would work better in humid weather!

      Makeup, Skincare

      Haul: StrawberryNet Australia Makeup Sale and Priceline

      StrawberryNet had a sale, and Priceline sent me a $25 voucher.

      So, I guess it’s time to shop? 😉


      Oh. My. Gosh. The moment I saw StrawberryNet was having a 10% off all MAKEUP sale, my heart skipped a few beats. I am a regular shopper at StrawberryNet so I already have a 10% discount for all purchases, and they also give an additional 5% off for purchases of more than 6 items – so in total I could have a 25% discount, which is insane! (Note: they also offer free shipping on all purchases, no minimums!)

      I immediately ran through my makeup wishlist and started browsing their site. They have a lot of high end makeup, so I was so excited! But I seriously have too much makeup, so before I can downsize them, I am limiting myself to just spending a maximum of $200 on this sale. And I am happy with my $194 worth of purchases!

      Initially I really wanted to splurge on By Terry, Chantecaille and Tom Ford items but even after the 25% discount, they were still too expensive – I’d rather spend my $200 budget on other things I actually need, not want.

      Please note that makeup and skincare products in Australia retail at prices almost twice as much than in the United States, so having 25% off makeup on StrawberryNet Australia does not always guarantee that it will be cheaper than the US price. All Australian prices are tax inclusive, which makes it seem more expensive because the listed US prices are not tax inclusive. Thankfully all of these products ended up being cheaper than the pre-tax US prices!

      So, here are my purchases:

      1. Chanel Illusion d’Ombre Long-Wear Luminous Eyeshadow – #86 Ebloui

      I have three Chanel Illusion d’Ombre eyeshadows already: Epatant, Fantasme, and Vision. I’ve had my eyes on this particular shade for a while now and was glad I could finally purchase it for a cheaper price (RRP US$36/AU$49, final price AU$36.75 – approx. US$34.50).
      Chanel Illusion d’Ombre eyeshadows
      come with a small eyeshadow brush.
      Ebloui is a lovely, shimmery reddish burgundy brown shade. The shimmer is multicolored but they’re very fine and won’t end up too over-the-top glittery on the lids. 
      Chanel Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow in Ebloui
      appears a bit darker than it actually is in this image.
      In reality it’s a bit warmer and redder.
      I am very happy with the way it swatched on my hand. I will be posting a side-by-side comparison swatch of this shadow with the other Illusion d’Ombre eyeshadows that I own soon.
      However, as much as I love these cream shadows, they always SHRINK and dry out. So please be aware of this when purchasing these shadows. My Fantasme shade has shrunk to about 3/4 of its original size by now and I’ve only had it for about 9-10 months, and it no longer sticks to the glass pot. 
      I knew it was going to happen to my Ebloui shade as well, but what I didn’t expect was it arriving in this condition:
      Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Ebloui arrived all dried out,
      shrunk, and no longer adhering to the glass pot.
      See how the whole shadow popped out on to the lid? 
      I was so devastated. 
      Although the cream shadow itself is still quite creamy (apparently not as creamy as my Epatant and Vision, which still has not dried/shrunk yet), the color still swatches wonderfully. I plan to use this on top of my Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes in E128!
      Thankfully, the Customer Service team at StrawberryNet are so nice and helpful, they actually gave me a full refund for the item. So, basically I only ended up spending about $158 for this whole purchase, which made me so, SO happy 🙂

      2. Chanel Miroir Double Facettes Mirror Duo

      I’ve always wanted one of these! 
      As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, for the past few months I’ve always done my makeup in the car (yes, full face makeup). And I really dislike using mirrors from compact powders, eyeshadow quads and blushes – they’re always dusty and just aren’t as comfortable as having a proper handheld mirror. So I’ve just been using a handheld Hello Kitty one that I bought from Daiso for $2.
      This one is definitely a splurge, but I love it (RRP US$42/AU$54.50, final price AU$40.88, approx. US$38.40).
      Chanel Miroir Double Facettes Mirror Duo comes with a soft velvet pouch.
      This is perfect for travelling and handbags! I think it’s worth the investment because you can bring it with you wherever you go, and whenever you need to touch up your makeup, you have a pretty dope and chic mirror to help you with it.
      One side of the Chanel Miroir Double Facettes Mirror Duo is a normal mirror,
      the other is a double magnification mirror. Perfect for handbags!
      One other reason why I love this double mirror compact so much is the fact that one side comes with a normal mirror, and the other a double magnification mirror for times when you need much more precision.
      I seriously will be bringing this with me everywhere I go!

      3. Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes #113 (Navy Blue)

      This was one of the items that I was most excited about because I’ve always loved dark blue smokey eyes, and this is the perfect tool to create one with! So I’ve been eyeing this one for a while.
      It retails for about AU$52 in stores in Australia while it’s only US$36 (approx. AU$38) in stores in the States! How annoying. However, the full price on StrawberryNet Australia is $49 (RRP US$36/AU$49, final price AU$36.75, approx. US$34.50) so it ended up being slightly cheaper than the price in US Sephora.
      Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes Packaging

      I’ve always loved how sleek and modern their packaging is, I just wish they’re a tad shorter so they could easily fit into smaller makeup bags! The cap and the end of the pen is such a waste of space, I believe they could’ve made it shorter.
      Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes #113 – Navy Blue
      I plan to apply this on the lids, blend it outwards and upwards with my fingers and top it off with a bit of the Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Epatant for a quick and easy smokey eye look.
      Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes #113 – Navy Blue on top, blended with a finger.

      Brown shadow in the bottom is a swatch of Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Ebolui but it’s not true-to-color.
      Will post new swatches of it in a separate post.

      Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes #113 – Navy Blue topped with Chanel Illusion d’Ombre in Epatant.
      I actually applied too much of the Illusion d’Ombre, but it still looks gorgeous.

      Below that is a small swatch of the Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes #113 – Navy Blue on its own.

      My first impression of this product is that it is very, very creamy and pigmented. However, you must have quick hands and blend it quick because it dries out pretty fast, and once it dries it is super budge-proof, smudge-proof and waterproof! I can probably use this while swimming? We’ll see 😉

      4. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10 in 03 Medium

      One of my main struggles with makeup is finding the right shade – I am always in-between shades and it really frustrates me because I always end up having to bring more than one concealer when I travel. 
      It’s partly because my skin undertone is neutral – I’m not too yellow, nor am I too pink. And 99.99% of concealers out there are on the extreme sides of the tone range! Believe me, I’ve tried almost all concealers under the sun.
      Also, my under eyes are so dark that I have to use a darker concealer on my under eyes because lighter shades (shades that I use to conceal the rest of my face) will just highlight the dark circles instead of color-correcting it, making it more visible. So I will always need two concealers 🙁
      Current ones that I have run a bit too light for my under eyes so I’m on a hunt for a darker shade. My face is usually a light-medium, so a medium shade to color-correct my under eyes would be perfect.
      Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10 in 03 Medium.
      Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10 in 03 Medium, and
      NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Medium 2 Ginger.
      The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger is not part of this haul, although it is a recent purchase – my husband bought it for me from Singapore last week. The reason I got the shade Ginger is because my Custard shade works perfectly for my face, but too light for my under eyes. When used together (Ginger to color-correct the dark circles, and Custard to highlight the under eye area), they’re awesome.
      So, why did I need to get the Estee Lauder when the NARS worked just fine? Honestly just because it’s got SPF10. Also, I’ve read reviews that people say the Estee Lauder is much more dense and pigmented, so I really wanted to give it a try while it’s on sale (RRP US$24/AU$33, final price AU$24.75, approx. US$23.25).
      Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10 in 03 Medium, and
      NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Medium 2 Ginger are exactly the same shade.

      The Estee Lauder, when blended, is a bit more muddy-yellow though.

      I definitely won’t be able to use this for my hyperpigmentation on my face. As you can see it’s way too yellow (and dark) for my slightly pinkish skin. The skin on my face is fairer and more pink-toned than the skin on the back of my hands. So these two will only be able to be used on my dark circles to color-correct, I can’t even bring it down to the sides of my nose or my cheekbones. 
      I haven’t had the chance to experiment this under my eyes, but shockingly, when I tried this on my wrist to cover the blue veins, my skin on my wrist turned freaking YELLOW. Like, muddy yellow.
      1. My bare skin’s blue veins
      2. Blended Physician’s Formula’s Gentle Cover Concealer Stick in Yellow to counteract the blue
      3. Applied Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10 in Medium
      4. Everything blended
      See how pinkish my skin was in the first image (far left), and how it turned muddy, almost green in the last image (far right)?
      I did use the Physician’s Formula Concealer Stick in Yellow to counteract the blue, but I’ve tried that on its own under my eyes, topped off with Ginger, and it worked well. However this looked a bit scary for me. I hope when I use this under my eyes it won’t show up this yellow!
      It did cover up the “blue” though, but that’s the Physician’s Formula concealer at work. I tried concealing the veins on my other wrist with just the Estee Lauder and the blue still peeked through. But the pigmentation itself is pretty remarkable!
      And a plus for the SPF 10!
      I will definitely get the light-medium shade on their next sale because having a concealer with SPF really helps protect the skin against further melanin damage.

      5. Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Duo #202 Vellum Shimmer/Shimmering Wheat

      Oh, Kevyn. You’ve done it again.
      For me, one of the most difficult questions to answer is “what’s your favorite makeup brand?”. Makeup junkies can relate, right? 😉
      But one brand I will never not mention when answering that question is Kevyn Aucoin. The quality of his products are just immaculate. Almost everything is without flaw. My makeup bags will always contain at least one of his items. 
      Anyways, I’ve swatched a lot of his shadows in store but have only owned one single shadow – and I really like it. And I’ve always wanted to have a palette or duo, I just never had the chance to buy one. So this is the time for me to get my hands on one!
      I decided to get the Eyeshadow Duo #202 because it’s highly raved about – and boy, am I glad I got this one, and for such a great price (RRP US$42/AU$45.50, final price AU$33.38, approx. US$31.35). It was a whopping $10.65 difference from the pre-tax US price! I seriously can’t wait for their next sale! Will definitely get more of these.
      Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Duo comes with a velvet pouch. So fancy!
      #202 is a shimmery duo – and the pigmentation and color payoff is remarkable. The colors themselves are also gorgeous and would complement and be suitable for any skintone.
      I can’t testify about its durability yet because I have yet to put it to the test.
      Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Duo #202 Vellum Shimmer/Shimmering Wheat with no flash,
      and Kevyn Aucoin gold embossed plastic protector over the shadows.

      Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Duo #202 Vellum Shimmer/Shimmering Wheat up close with flash.

      Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Duo #202 Vellum Shimmer/Shimmering Wheat up close without flash.
      I love how creamy the texture is – and how smoothly and evenly it glides on the skin.
      Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Duo #202 Vellum Shimmer/Shimmering Wheat – one swipe!

      PS: Sorry for the bad lighting! It’s actually much brighter than this.

      Kevyn Aucoin The Eyeshadow Duo #202 Vellum Shimmer/Shimmering Wheat – one swipe, blended with a finger.

      PS: Again, sorry for the bad lighting!

      The left shade is Vellum Shimmer, an eggshell white pearlescent shimmery shade – perfect for the inner corners and inner third of the eyes! Or even just as a highlight right on the centre of the lids.
      The right shade, Shimmering Wheat, is a shimmery, slighlty cool toned, wheat-gold shade. 
      When I saw these shades I could immediately envision using this duo for a numerous amount of looks and to be used with lots of other shadows. For an everyday, less-than-5-minute-makeup-look I plan to use this to enhance my Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad To The Bronze! 
      Its versatility, topped with its remarkable quality, makes it a must-have makeup item for me!

      6. TheBalm Double Ended Shadow/Crease Brush

      I’ve been eyeing on this double ended brush for a while because I’ve already got the Double Ended Smudger Brush/Tapered Crease Brush, mentioned in this post, which I love and carry wherever I go.
      The Balm Double Ended Smudger Brush/Tapered Crease Brush (fourth from top)
      is my favorite travel eyeshadow brush.
      However I sometimes feel like the tapered crease brush is a bit too pointy at the end (d’uh!) for blending. So a round, fluffy blending brush would be a great addition for my travel makeup bag.
      As you can see up there I already have a Sigma one, but for travelling, double ended brushes save so much space – so this was a no-brainer purchase for me! The price was also fantastic (RRP US$26.50/AU$27, final price AU$20.25, approx. US$19) – a US$7 difference from the US pre-tax price!
      TheBalm Double Ended Shadow/Crease Brush compared to the size of my hand.
      It’s the perfect size – not too long (waste of space), but not too short (not difficult to handle).
      I also love how huge the shadow brush is! It would make the application of all-over-lid shades so much easier and faster. It’s dense that it would be able to push the shadows in place flawlessly, but very soft and gentle that it won’t scratch the lids (unlike Zoeva eye brushes!).
      TheBalm Double Ended Shadow Brush compared to the size of my hand.
      The fluffy crease brush side is also very soft and gentle, which I love!
      TheBalm Double Ended Crease Brush compared to the size of my hand.
      And that concludes my StrawberryNet haul!
      The following are purchases from Priceline earlier today.


      So as a Priceline Sisterhood member you’ll get vouchers every now and then, and I love that I got a $25 voucher recently.

      1. La Roche Posay Lipikar Syndet Cleansing Body Cream-Gel

      I immediately knew I wanted to get a La Roche Posay Lipikar Syndet cleanser to replace my SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, which I reviewed here, because it’s so much cheaper (AU$55 for a 120 ml SK-II cleanser, and AU$32.99 for a 400 ml La Roche Posay Lipika Syndet), a 200 ml bottle is AU$26, so it’s so much more worth-it to get the 400 ml bottle! 
      I couldn’t take a picture of mine because I showered with it before I took the pictures for the haul! So it was already wet, but I’m glad I gave it a try because I LOVE it!
      The thing I love about this is that it is perfect for use in the shower because it’s actually a body wash that can also be used for the face and the hair! 
      It’s not fragranced so it’s perfectly safe for sensitive skin and even babies, and the consistency is a unique creamy-gel texture. It doesn’t foam up too much when massaged on to damp skin, which I actually love because cleansers that foam and bubble up too much would most of the time leave my skin feeling tight and dry.
      From now on this will be my in-shower cleanser, to be used with my Clarisonic.
      I will definitely post a review once I finish half of the 400 ml bottle, because it might take a loooong while for me to go through the whole thing because I would only be using this on my face. Maybe would take about a year, or more, for me to go through this – which really excites me because it’s so CHEAP!! 😀

      2. Physician’s Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick in Yellow

      Ever since I was pregnant my under eye dark circles just keep getting worse by the day. I do have a bone structure that accentuates dark shadows under my eyes, and it’s partly genetics and allergies too, but it’s never been this bad!
      So I’m constantly on a hunt to find better products out there that could really diminish them.
      I came across this yellow concealer while I was browsing the Physicians Formula counter, and I knew yellow counteracts blue, being on the opposite sides of the spectrum. So I really wanted to give this a try although the price difference from the US is INSANE! It retails for $14.95 here in Australia, while it’s only $6.99 pre-tax in the States. But I really needed it so, while I had a voucher, why not!
      Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner in Natural Nude, and
      Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick in Yellow.
      I’ve posted a swatch of this yellow concealer earlier in this post where I showed a gradual concealer transformation of my bluish veins on my wrist.

      Here it is again:

      It actually counteracts the blue really, REALLY well – so I’m very satisfied with this purchase even though it was so expensive (compared to the US price!).

      3. Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner in Natural Nude

      Now this one was an unnecessary purchase – I was just sucked in by the cute packaging. LOL. I felt like it was literally screaming my name!

      Just look at it!

      Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner in Natural Nude, and
      Physicians Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick in Yellow.

      It retails for AU$24.95, while it’s only US$11.95 pre-tax. More than twice as expensive! But I justified this purchase by thinking that since I have a $25 voucher, if I purchased 3 items, each item will have a $8.33 discount. So my cleanser costed about $24.60 (very reasonable!), the concealer about $6.60 (cheaper than in the States!), and this palette about $16.60 (a $4.65 difference isn’t that bad right? And after tax it would cost around $12-$13 in the States right?).
      Yes, I did all these calculations in store, and yes, I’m that frugal and stingy – even with makeup! 🙂
      So in essence it felt like I was paying the US prices for these three items.
      Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner in Natural Nude swatches.

      I’m actually really glad I got this palette because the shades are so pretty, although most of the lighter ones look very similar.

      I love how tiny the palette is – I can definitely see myself travelling with this palette since it’s so neutral and small in size.

      However, I do wish they’d come with at least one matte shade – but of course it won’t since the name of the palette itself is “Shimmer Strips”.

      So, that concludes my Priceline haul!

      I just have one more item which I purchased next door from Priceline – my beauty clinic in Melbourne CBD which I regularly go to for treatments.

      I had to repurchase my Medik8 White Balance Click. Such a staple for me, I included it in my 10 Holy Grail beauty products because it does wonders for my hyperpigmentation spots.

      Medik8 White Balance Click

      I plan to post a thorough review once I finish these (one bottle would last about 6-8 weeks). So maybe in about 3-4 months’ time? Keep an eye out!


      Beauty: Holy Grail Products I Keep Repurchasing!

      There’s just some products out there that no matter how hard I try not to repurchase, I will keep repurchasing anyway! I love trying out new things and that’s why I always try to cycle up my products, but there’s just some that I can’t live without.

      When I keep repurchasing something, or coming back to something, and when I realize I can’t live without it although I have lots of other great alternatives at my disposal – that’s when I know a product has reached a HOLY MIGHTY GRAIL status!

      So, here they are – the things that I just keep coming back to:

      1. Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

      When I don’t have this in my makeup stash, I feel so empty inside. #dramaqueen
      But seriously, no joke.
      I first tried this about 3-4 years ago, and the whole tube lasted me for about a year. Back then, this tinted moisturizer was only one of the few bases I had. Amongst others I had Chantecaille’s Future Skin Foundation, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and a Missha BB Cream. I remember raving about the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua to everyone I know, while this remained out of the spotlight. But in all honesty, I did use this one the most.
      However, once I ran out, I didn’t repuchase because I wanted to try something else. I ended up purchasing the Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation and their mineral loose powder. The foundation was way too full-coverage for me – I had clear skin so I didn’t need much coverage, so I didn’t like the foundation on me. As for the mineral powder, it was just a meh product for me. So as time went by I started experimenting with so many other bases, but somehow this was always in the back of my mind. I ended up repurchasing this about 1.5 years ago, and it lasted me til the end of last year, around September. And again, I didn’t repurchase.
      Long story short, I missed this. And repurchased one last week. And I’ve never been happier.
      I’ve tried looking for alternatives – NARS Tinted Moisturizer, Stila Stay All Day10-in-1 HD BB cream, Cle de Peau Silky Cream Foundation, Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Foundation, etc. But after trying so many different products, I still felt like something was missing from my stash. Especially during winter!
      Somehow I was never inclined to rave about this product, unlike how I was to my Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer (which I haven’t posted about yet, but will!) or my Cle de Peau concealer. This was just always out of the limelight, but somehow will always be dear to my heart 🙂
      Reasons why I love this so much?
      • Silky smooth, dewy finish
      • Hydrating and moisturizing without feeling greasy
      • Shade “Bisque” matches me perfectly, which rarely happens with any foundation!
      • SPF 20
      • Buildable coverage
      • So easy to work with, very blendable and perfect for days when I’m in a rush
      • Oil free and non-comedogenic, so definitely safe for my clog-prone skin

      2. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

      I swear by liquid liners for any occasion, from day-to-day wear to glamorous events – liquid liners are a must for my upper lash line. For some reason, pencil (especially oily, crayon formulas) and gel will always transfer and smudge onto the outer lower lash line of my eyes. Always. Liquid liners are the only liners that will hold up and not smudge anywhere!
      I especially love ones with brush tip applicators, and this one is definitely my favorite. Brush tip applicators make winging out the liner so much easier, it’s like you’re painting your eyes! Others with brush tip appilcators that I like are from K-Palette and Dollywink. 
      The thing I don’t like about the K-Palette one is that when used alone, it leaves a bluish, dark stain on the skin that is so difficult to remove. It is very, very waterproof and smudge-proof that it stains the skin like tattoo! (Well, the product itself is called Real Lasting Eyeliner 1 Day Tattoo, so I’m not too surprised). 
      With the Dollywink, there’s been several occasions that the packaging (top part near the applicator) broke and blank ink leaked and poured out all over my arm and the brush tip somehow does not remain in a sharp shape for a long time. After about 2-3 months of use the brushes started to spread out and fluff up, which made the lines less sharp. Also, I find that on several occasions a bunch of ink leaked out and was very runny that the black ink almost got into my eyeball, which would’ve been fatal!
      So, what makes the Kat Von D so loveable?
      • Durable brush tip – remains in a sharp shape even after a long time
      • Durable (and attractive) packaging
      • Comes out very black
      • Not runny (unlike Dollywink)
      • Still smudgeable immediately after application so I can feather out any mistakes with my fingers 2-3 seconds after application, but after that it dries out and won’t budge
      • Semi-matte finish
      I just wish one pen could last me a bit longer, but I will never stop repurchasing!

      3. Avene Eau Thermale Spring Water

      I just keep repurchasing face sprays/mists in general, but this is one that I have repurchased over and over again over the years. Although my current favorite is the Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist because of its heavenly scent, I still haven’t repuchased it because I still haven’t finished my first one yet. I use it very sparingly because it’s so darn expensive – it’s a whopping $90 per 1.7 oz can! 
      Although I’m sure I will repurchase it once I run out, the Avene is one I won’t hesitate to use on a daily basis – even using it up to 5 times a day just to freshen myself up!
      I’ve tried so many other mists from other brands before, namely KORA Organics, Caudalie, Jurlique, Lush, The Body Shop and I’ve even put my SK-II Facial Treatment Essence into a spray bottle! But I just keep coming back to this one. I’ve held myself back from repurchasing this a couple of times already, but I’ve always lost. I will always need this in my life no matter how many other alternatives I have in my stash.
      My purpose of using this is not to set my makeup – it’s simply to rehydrate and “wake up” my senses. I especially love using this in the summer just to freshen up.
      So why is this a staple?
      • Afforadable
      • Fragrance-free with no irritants, thus safe for sensitive skin
      • Very refreshing and hydrating
      • Not going to melt any makeup on my face, even in the sun
      • Penetrates and gets absorbed into the skin fast
      • If used properly, no need to pat the face dry because the mist is very fine

      4. Medik8 CE-Tetra

      One of my main skin problems has always been dark spots/hyperpigmentation from acne scarring. The spots that my acne leaves behind just won’t fade – ever. Until I went in for a treatment at my local beauty clinic who introduced me to Omnilux light treatments to help fade them, and to the Medik8 skincare range. And I fell in love with this serum.
      Vitamin C is known to have brightening benefits, and Vitamin E is an antioxidant with healing powers. These two combined will help the healing of acne spots tremendously, and I can testify to that. I love this product so much but I was hesitant to repurchase because it’s so expensive! 
      When I ran out, I decided to try other Vitamin C & E products out there but they just don’t work. I simply hate some because of their consistency and tacky/greasy feeling on my skin, and some just simply don’t make a difference.
      So I will keep repurchasing this until my spots are gone! (Which is difficult at this point because of my constant hormonal pregnancy-related breakouts)
      The company claims that the serum will do these things:
      • Combat sun-induced damage to the skin
      • Help trigger collagen production
      • Increase skin’s elasticity and density
      • Improve skin’s texture
      • Brighten complexion
      • Minimizes pigmentation marks
      • Prevents premature skin aging
      I agree.

      And I claim that the serum will do these things:
      • Won’t clog pores
      • Leaves skin feeling extra silky-soft and smooth, almost like the feeling of silicone on the skin (slippery smooth!)
      • Makes moisturizer application easier
      • Moisturizer applied on top of it won’t feel greasy because of the silky finish from this serum
      • Gradually helps heal red/brown spots from acne
      • Smells like a field of oranges upon application (yum!) but won’t linger through the night
      Holy grail!

      5. Medik8 White Balance

      This works so well with the CE-Tetra serum because the CE-Tetra brightens and heals, and this product specifically targets the hyperpigmentation spots.
      I don’t have much to say about this except that it is the most phenomenal depigmenting serum I have ever tried. And I’ve tried a lot.
      Brands with depigmenting products that I’ve tried include Lancome, Estee Lauder, SK-II, Sulwhasoo, Kiehl’s, Proactiv, AMBI, DHC, La Prairie, and that’s just a few. None of them worked, and some of the products costed me a hell of a fortune, which was such a waste.
      So I’m glad I came across this lifesaver. I’ve tried to try something else when I ran out of my first batch (one package comes with two bottles), but I realized that my red/brown spots just don’t fade at all. With this, I can see a difference in a matter of weeks – even days! Usually, when I get a cystic acne, the reddish spot the acne leaves behind will become very inflamed for about a week or two before it starts its healing process (becoming brown). But with the help of this serum, the inflamed redness calms down only after a few days. After finishing two bottles that it comes with, the marks have faded to almost 50% of its opacity, which is such a tremendous improvement. With other products, it won’t even get to 80% after 6 months.
      So it’s a no-brainer that I shall always have this in my life. 
      Also: It’s very runny/liquid and feels like applying water on your face, with no oily/greasy residue!

      6. The Face Shop Babyface Hydrogel Mask in Platinum Aura

      Only God knows how many sheet masks I’ve used in my life so far – I myself have lost count! 
      I have normal/combination skin that leans more towards dry because I live in a dry, chilly climate. So hydrating sheet masks are my favorites!
      This particular one is my favorite because on days when my skin is looking super dull and lifeless, this brightens up my complexion straight away! Once I take the gel sheets off, my skin is visibly brighter and feels much more nourished and hydrated at the same time. I can’t really testify to its pigment-lightening claims because my Medik8 products are great at that, but as for an overall immediate skin brightener, this is like no other!
      After 30 minutes, everything has already been absorbed into the skin, with rarely any excess. Skin feels smooth and is ready for the next step in my skincare regimen! This is rarely the case with gel/tissue masks because usually, there will be lots of excess product on the skin that I’d have to wipe it all off. Sometimes, some products would leave a greasy feel that I’d actually wash my face again – which probably defeated the whole purpose of wearing the mask!
      Reasons why this sheet mask always has to be at my disposal:
      • Absorbs into the skin really well, little to no excess left on top of the skin
      • Does not clog pores and breaks out the skin
      • Nourishes and hydrates, and brightens!
      • Light, pleasant smell
      • Cooling and relaxing – great to use when having a bubble bath!

      7. Enya Vitamin E Cream

      I seriously don’t think any word or description would do this product justice – this is seriously the best multifunctional cream out there in the world today (I think!). Best part is – it’s only $2-4 at chemists (drugstores) for a huge 1L bottle! WHAAAAAT?? #cheapthrill baby!
      Multifunctional. Cheap. Amazing quality. Lovely scent. What more can I ask for?
      This product is always in my bathroom because it plays more than one role in my life:
      • Moisturizer: I always apply this liberally, all over my body, after I shower. Hands, feet, legs, arms, and my huge belly! This is my favorite whole-body moisturizer (body lotion) because it does not leave a greasy, oily residue on the skin. It gets fully absorbed into the skin about 2-3 minutes after application, and once fully absorbed, the skin turns silky smooth and so hydrated. I used to have dry and rough patches around my feet, but this cream has softened my feet it now feels slippery clean and smooth!
      • Cleanser: I love finishing up with this as a body cleanser after a long, hot bath because hot baths can strip all the oils off of your skin, leaving your skin feeling dry and dehydrated. Cleansing with this before finishing a hot bath really nourishes the skin. My skin doesn’t feel tight and dry when I towel up!
      • Shaving Lotion: I apply a generous amount (and I won’t hesitate because it’s so cheap!) on to my underarms and shave away! Great thing is, I don’t have to be in the shower to do this because this cream does not soap up and does not require a rinse. So on mornings when I don’t have time to shower but must shave, I simply use this to help me shave! As a bonus, vitamin e is known to help with lightening pigmentations so dark underarms will benefit from this.

      8. Palmolive Hydrating Shower Gel

      Like mother, like daughter. My mom loves, and collects, shower gels – in her shower she will always have more than 5 shower gels and will sometimes use more than one in one shower!
      Well, same thing with me. I just love having relaxing showers (and baths) with nice smelling shower gels. I always end up using more than one shower gel when I’m showering, and I currently have 4 in my shower (Palmolive Hydrating Shower Gel, Imperial Leather Limited Edition Guava & Lotus Flower Shower CremePalmolive Ayurituel Shower Gel in Peaceful, and a natural bar soap from Victoria Market) and I’m always rotating them with other shower gels – I have a bunch of other shower gels in my backup cupboard! I rotate them when I get bored.
      But there’s always that one shower gel that I keep coming back to, that will always be in my shower, that I will always end up using when I can’t decide which one to use, that I will keep repurchasing for life – and that’s the Palmolive Hydrating Shower Gel.
      I think it’s the scent that keeps drawing me back to the shower gel. It’s probably what heaven will smell like! So sooooooothing and clean!
      Honestly not quite sure how to describe the scent, but I know that it makes me feel so relaxed and refreshed at the same time. It invigorates and excites my senses, yet it calms me and loosens up my tense muscles. I can literally feel my muscles loosening up whenever I apply this on my body, and my senses just scream “let’s just fall asleep to this heavenly scent NOW!”
      So, it’s not just that it moisturizes and quenches my skin with hydration – it also has a psychological (and perhaps physiological) affect on me.
      Good thing a litre only costs about $5! I will keep repurchasing this ’til the day I die!

      9. Cle de Peau Concealer

      From the first time I purchased this product at a hefty $70 or so, I told myself “I hope I won’t grow attached to you”. And of course I got attached.
      Why did I get so attached?
      • Super opaque
      • Smooth and not patchy
      • Very blendable
      • Long lasting
      • Once it sets, it doesn’t crease
      • Dry, almost powdery finish (no need to set with powder) – not sticky/greasy at all!
      I just wish they had a wider color range. I’m currently in-between shades Beige (2nd lightest) and Ochre (3rd lightest, and actually 2nd darkest) and having to bring both shades everywhere I go is an inconvenience, but gotta have it no matter what!

      10. MAC Lipsticks

      I probably have around 50-60 lipsticks right now. Crazy, I know. And there are so many of them that I really, really love!

      However, I just keep coming back to MAC lipsticks. I don’t know why!

      The formula just doesn’t dry out my lips too much – my lips are very sensitive and will peel off most of the time when I wear lip products. MAC lipsticks, somehow, don’t accentuate the flakes on my lips!

      The color range and opacity is also amazeballs.

      MAC lippies are so timeless and no matter how many other lipsticks I try out there, I will keep coming back to MAC every now and then.


      • Doesn’t irritate my sensitive lips
      • So creamy that it doesn’t accentuate flaky lips
      • Excellent opacity
      • Creamy but dense (some creamy lipsticks, like the YSL Rogue Volupte, can end up being rather patchy)
      So, those are all of my holy grail products so far! This list will most probably grow by time, but I don’t think I will ever omit any of these products 🙂