Life Update- the Less Attractive past, Friends, Travel

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

So far, 2016 has been a period of insecurity and transition. I have finally graduated from University after 7 years of study, not all of them useful. I managed to have a few weeks of time to myself, but ended up working a lot at my part time job in a desperate bid to save up enough money so I can purchase my insurance so I have the option to practice as a Chiropractor! In the upcoming months I am starting at my new job in the medical cosmetics industry (that's right, I may not even use my Chiropractic degree!), may move out of home, am re-evaluating my relationships and am leaving for Singapore today for Chinese New Year! Nothing is stable right now, hence the lack of blog posts, but I'm just sitting back and enjoying the ride :). 

The best thing has been reconnecting with friends whom I have neglected over the past 5 years, because studying Chiropractic saps away your life force (I'm not joking). 10 years ago, a lovely girl came to Perth on exchange from the UK for 1 short year. We became best friends- the kind where we would spend all day at school together and go home, only to call each other on our home phones to chat some more. I was devastated when she left and have never had that kind of connection with anyone else since. We checked in on each other once every few years on FB but I never thought I'd see her again. Lo and behold, last week I get a message from her saying she will be in Perth the week after and will be looking for a job! We have since caught up twice and her presence here has set off a chain of re-connections from the past. Check out these amazing photos of me from 10 years ago! I'm wearing a velveteen blazer with 3/4 pants and skate shoes!

This one is my school photo from 11 years ago. I chanced upon it and couldn't stop laughing. What a gem! I think it's safe to say I blossomed after high school. I have a huge collection of ugly teenage photos that I am very willing to share if anyone would ever be interested HAHA.

I have also managed to reconnect with friends from around 3-4 years ago and it's fascinating to see what has changed and what hasn't. Some of them have discovered their artistic side and have gotten into photography. Working a full time job has allowed them the funds to purchase all the gear they want and we ended up shooting last week at my old high school of all places. Here are some slightly more attractive shots of me taken by Oscar. Check him out on Instagram @oscararmando90! @jiaqi_li1 was also there but I haven't got his edited shots back yet.

I also caught up with Michael from Vestiige Photography and we initially just planned to have a coffee in the city but ended up shooting! He does some seriously kooky work and I am so looking forward to doing more creepy things with him. 

I crawled into a gross crevice filled with spiderwebs, complete with HUGE dead spiders! 

I am so grateful to know so many creative souls who want to work with me on photography projects. I will never be a model, and I have always thought modelling would be difficult and awkward, but working with friends is pure fun. 

I leave for Singapore today to see my amazing family (and my little sister!) and be with them for Chinese New Year, my favorite holiday of the year. I don't plan to blog whilst I'm there, but have some scheduled posts ready to go up. This time I am seriously considering documenting my trip with an old school disposable film camera to capture each moment as it is, no editing or pretense required. 

I would love to know of any new developments in your life! Please tell me!

Lamy Cosmetics Real 97% Rice Paper Eating Mask Pack Review- Big Miss

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Ah mask packs! I love using them but have a hard time reviewing them. I received 3 fancy packs from Korean brand Lamy Cosmetics, courtesy of Bntnews. I have reviewed one other item from Lamy Cosmetics before- the Catalina Geo violet make up base.

This product is unique to other sheet masks because the mask itself is made of 97% real rice. The sensation is said to be completely different to other masks which are made of synthesized material, making the rice mask very suited to sensitive skin. I don't know about you guys, but I have fairly sensitive skin and when I react to sheet masks I always thought it was because of the essence, not the mask material?

The essence that consists of diverse herbal ingredients such as rh-EGF capsulized with lecithin, plant stem cells, Chinese redbud, and fermented red ginseng to nourish, reduce irritation and stress on the skin.

I also came across this video of the adorable girls from Crayon Pop receiving the mask! They don't try it out though :S.

The packs are quite large at around A4 size! I was quite dismayed to see that each pack only contained 1 mask as this much packaging for a one use product is very wasteful. I received 3 different types:

Tumeric for fresh and firm skin.
Green Tea for moisturized and radiant skin.
Black Rice for transparent and shining skin.

1) Clean your skin with a toner after washing your face.
2) Spread the essence included in the package on your mask sheet.
3) Let it for 2 minutes.
4) Put on your mask from the center of your face to the outside.
5) Remove the product after 15-20 minutes and then finish your routine with your base products.

The dry sheet mask is packaged inside a plastic case.
The essence is packaged separately in a sachet. Open up both and pour the essence onto the mask and let it soak in for 2 minutes.

The amount of essence is more than adequate to saturate the mask and it dripped when I picked it up and applied it to my face. It does take 2 minutes for the essence to soak in to the rice paper as it has a thick, syrupy texture. The mask material is indeed very unique and feels exactly like a sheet of vermicelli! Because of this, the mask is extremely delicate. I have delicate and sensitive Chiropractic fingers and I took so much care in applying the mask to my face and still managed to rip it as you can see below :(.

The sheet is split into a top half and bottom half and I can see why this is necessary as it would most definitely rip if it were one piece. Fit-wise the mask is fairly poor. There is a lot of excess sheet around my forehead and chin.

Tumeric mask

I found that the mask did not adhere to my face very well at all because of the rice paper texture! The sides kept flapping forwards and this became worse as it dried. Surprisingly, the mask significantly dried out within 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, the edges were almost 100% dry.

Black Rice mask

This is how the mask sits after 20 minutes. No matter how much I pushed it back into place, it still wanted to peel off!

Because the mask dried out, my skin was left feeling only slightly tacky and well hydrated. Makeup applied on smoothly which is important- I have used sheet masks which left such a thick, dried layer of essence on my face that flaked off into balls when I applied makeup!

I have used the Tumeric and Black Rice mask and noticed within the week of usage, I got 2 huge cystic pimples- one on my lip and one on my chin. I NEVER get these kind of pimples (usually just clogged pores!), I'm not going to blame this mask completely because these pimples could have been caused by another new product I'm using or stress, but there is definitely a chance these masks could be the culprit. I am still nursing the pimple on my chin, which hurts like crazy! I am definitely not going to use the last mask just in case.

Overall, these masks were pretty fail for me. They produce an incredible amount of waste, rip easily, don't stick to my face and may or may not cause me to get cystic pimples!

You can buy these masks from Ebay for around $7USD each. For one mask? Not worth it!

*I was gifted this product for review, all my opinions are 100% honest.

Check out Bntnews for Korean news and trends!
See more of my reviews on Korean beauty products

Check out the other BNT Girls: BellaLavenCelineAleneBlairChermaineMaryMithaJoanne

Vely Vely Red Rouge No. 19 Lipstick Review

Monday, 18 January 2016

Imvely is a Korean online store that stocks clothing, accessories, shoes, bags and their own line of cosmetics. I had not heard of this site before, but upon browsing, the styling of the products and website design looks very similar to the famous Stylenanda, but girlier! The price points are also on par with Nanda. 

I received the newly launched Vely Vely Red Rouge lipstick from Bntnews. I have discovered so many new and interesting Korean brands through Bntnews and I am really happy and grateful that I can share them with you guys. Check out the rest of the Vely Vely cosmetics range here, the styling and photography is drool worthy!

"Add a dash of color to your makeup arsenal with this bright red lipstick. It offers full coverage and ultra soft texture--perfect during the day or at night. Perfect with your little black dress, sleek black leather pumps, and diamond stud necklace for a sophisticated take."

The lipstick contains nourishing ingredients suck as honey, shea butter and '6 flower complex'. 

When I opened the girly pink and gold box, I was quite surprised to see the matte black tube with graphic writing on it! I totally expected a girly pink lolita-esque style packaging that matched the box! Again, I can't help but be reminded of Stylenanda products which have the same matte black, graphic packaging.

Red Rouge is a very bright red- possibly the brightest I have in my collection. As soon as I saw the colour I was scared as I don't feel comfortable wearing red lipstick. Bright reds are even worse! I was reminded of my awful stage makeup back when I was a dancer, think bright purple eyeshadow paired with the gaudiest red lipstick on the market! Once I applied it, I knew the colour was not right for my tanned skin tone and I felt uglier almost immediately. When I wear this shade, I feel like my eyes look smaller and my face looks wider. Oh the power of makeup.

The lipstick is quite hard and not creamy at all. It adheres to the lips extremely well, similar to how a matte lipstick applies. This lipstick is able to be applied thinly, so you can control the colour payoff. On me, a thin layer tends to look more pink. 

The finish is only slightly glossy when I don't use lip balm underneath. Here I applied paw paw ointment underneath the lipstick as my lips were extremely dry that day which is making my lips look glossier.

Due to the strong adherence of the product, I expected the lipstick to be very long lasting, but the wear time was only average, plus the colour does not say put! For such a strong colour, regular touchups and checks were essential throughout the day as I was paranoid about the colour smudging over the borders of my lips. And I HATE touching up my makeup during the day! 

I would highly recommend using a lipliner with this lipstick. I have naturally dry lips and found that the dryness was well hidden for the first our or so, but as the lipstick wore off, the dry patches became obvious. I'd say the lipstick is moderately hydrating but my lips are a special case and need more pampering.

Overall, I found this lipstick to be average. The pigmentation and hydration are good for a lipstick, however I do not rate the average longevity and the smudging. It also does not help that I received a colour I hated! It was painful to wear this out during the day for the sake of this review! 

The colour definitely skewed my review of this lipstick and I know I would have been kinder if I had received a more neutral shade like no.2. Longevity and smudging matter much less with nude shades. 

This lipstick costs $27.72 USD and no I don't think it's worth it, because the regular checks and touch ups = work and I am lazy. ALL of the other shades are listed as matte, perhaps those would be longer lasting and transfer-proof!?

I must say though, the other cosmetics from Vely Vely look very appealing, I would love to try their eyeshadows and butter crayon lipsticks! 

*I was gifted this product for review, all my opinions are 100% honest.

Check out Bntnews for Korean news and trends!
See more of my reviews on Korean beauty products

Check out the other BNT Girls: BellaLavenCelineAleneBlairChermaineMaryMithaJoanne

Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant serum review

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Aesop is one of those brands that I have always been curious about. Every time I pass an Aesop store, I can't help but stop outside and take a deep breath because the air smells so pure and cleansing. Last year I was lucky enough to choose an Aesop product of my choice from Adore Beauty, an Australian owned stockist of over 120 brands including: SKII, BECCA, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Dermalogica and more. They also have a nice range of ethical/organic brands too. I also need to mention that shipping within Australia is FREE and you receive 2 free samples with a spend over $50!

I knew I wanted to try out a serum but was having a hard time choosing one, so the wonderful staff at Adore Beauty pointed me towards two choices for my dry, acne prone skin: the parsley seed anti-oxidant serum or the oil free facial hydrating serum. I ended up choosing the parsley seed serum which is formulated for dry, sensitive skin.

Brand story
"Aesop was established in Melbourne in 1987. Our objective has always been to formulate skin, hair and body care products of the finest quality; we investigate widely to source plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients, and use only those with a proven record of safety and efficacy. In each of our unique stores, informed consultants are pleased to introduce our range and to guide your selections. Alongside our commercial activities, we explore and support the arts as an avenue through which to inspire, learn and communicate. We are headquartered in Melbourne, and have offices and stores in many parts of the world, including New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong."- Aesop 

The parsley seed serum is an anti-oxidant rich, daily-use hydrating serum moisturiser for dry, combination and sensitive skin types. It is enhanced with efficacious grape and parsley seed extracts, panthenol (vitamin B5), aloe vera and chamomile to moisturise and soothe the skin.

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, water, PEG-80 almond glycerides, PEG-150 distearate, sorbitol, benzyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, lavender oil, panthenol, disodium EDTA, citric acid, sodium citrate, grape seed extract, linalool, green tea leaf extract, dihydroxyacetic acid, osmenis multioxalis extract, parsley seed oil, d-limonene.

The ingredient analysis from CosDNA show that PEG-150 has a comedogenic rating of 2/5 and benzyl alcohol is red flagged for safety over long-term use. Benzyl alcohol is the 6th ingredient, so I don't think the amount is enough to be harmful. Lastly, seeing as the product is named after the parsley seed, it's a little strange to see that parsley seed oil is the second last ingredient! 

The packaging is minimalist and absolutely beautiful. The brown glass bottle is weighty and precious featuring a simple black and cream label and a dropper style applicator. The only fault with this particular product is that the neck of the bottle is slightly too narrow. This combined with the thickness of the serum, tends to lead to spillage down the sides of bottle when the dropper is moved in and out of the bottle as you see above. 

After cleansing with philosophy's purity cleanser, I apply my COSRX blackhead power liquid to treat my pores and then apply the serum to hydrate. I apply a squirt (around 5-10 drops) of serum into the palms of my hands and massage it into my skin in an upwards motion. The serum is translucent and gloriously thick, just how I like it! Unlike other heavy serums, it is not sticky at all and absorbs into my skin surprisingly quickly- I'm talking under 1 minute. 

I was expecting an intense level of moisture, but once my skin has dried completely, it feels a little tight on my forehead and I can see that the surface of my skin looks slightly 'stretched'. Oddly it does not make much difference when I apply a second helping of serum. Aesop recommends using a facial oil or hydrating cream alongside this serum if your skin is very dry and I definitely agree. I like to apply this serum last though, as it locks in the moisture from the previous products and provides a really smooth and non-tacky surface for my makeup.

The scent is so delicious and if there was a perfume that smelt like this, I would buy it! It smells most strongly of lavender essential oil (which is my favourite EO scent), with a little bit of a citrus kick which is very refreshing. 

After 2 months of daily use, I can say that my skin likes this product. It has not broken me out and my skin looks more even and less red than before! It is a real treat to apply and breathe in the scent every day. As the product dries leaving my skin with a smooth and taught surface, it is perfect to apply last in my skincare routine, before makeup. 

I think this serum is suitable for all skin types, even oily ones considering how quickly it absorbs and the 'finish' it leaves on my skin. If you have dry skin, you will need to apply additional products as I mentioned before. 

Would I repurchase this product? Yes (once I start working a real job hehe). 

Aussies can get the Aesop parsley seed serum from Adore Beauty for $69. I have used 1/3 of the bottle in 2 months, using morning and night, thus it is likely to last around 6 months.

Do you have an Aesop store in your country? Have you ever tried anything from Aesop before?

*This product was gifted for review, all opinions are 100% honest. 

Trifoglio Italia 'Radio City' Timepiece Review

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Occasionally I am lucky enough to be sent accessories or fashion items to review and I am so excited to finally show you guys what has become one of my favourite accessories of all time! Firstly, I am not an accessory person. I own only 1 other watch, 5-7 pairs of earrings and a few bracelets which I never wear. I like simple jewelry that is brainless to pair with any outfit and works every time. To me, owning a beautiful timepiece signifies a 'step up' in the world and this came with perfect timing, as I am just about to enter the professional working world.

Trifoglio is a young and energetic brand of watches and bags which was founded quite recently in 2008. 'Radio City' is their latest design and it is super gorgeous! It's altogether classy, casual and versatile, not to mention completely unisex too!

"When dressed on the wrist, its essence makes a statement about the informed, urban, cosmopolitan individual in you, someone who equally appreciates fine tradition and enjoys the whimsical. Its elegance authenticates you as the tastemaker who understands that beauty and class are perfected when the mind is as well dressed as the body."

Photo by the awesome Vestiige Photography. Give his page a like, he does so many cool, creative projects!

The watch face comes in rose gold, black or silver.

There are many interchangeable straps available so Radio City can be swapped with ease, instantly transforming its style and character to complement the occasion. You can choose between a nylon or leather strap which both come in many different colours. Generally the nylon straps are best suited to a preppy, daytime outfit whereas the leather strap is more at home when worn during a formal event.

Some of the nylon straps available:

Some of the leather straps:

Which strap and face did I choose?

Wafer thin at just 4.8mm, the slim, minimalist case completes its understated elegance whilst ensuring comfort and ease of fitting under the cuff or dress sleeve.

I chose the classic rose gold with the black leather strap. I only own one timepiece which is red and blue, so I figured a classic color scheme would be the most wearable seeing as I am now a professional. It turned out to be the perfect choice for me and I have been wearing this watch practically every time I wear something black which is nearly every day!

Case Size: 40mm
Case Thickness: 4.8mm
Case Material: Stainless Steel 316L 
Crystal: K1 Mineral
Dial: Enamel Finished
Movement: Quartz Miyota GL20 slim
Strap: Genuine Italian Calf Leather in Black
Strap Size: 20mm

Strap Length: 
Black: 75mm x 125mm
Brown: 75mm x 125mm
White: 75mm x 115mm

Water Resistant: 5ATM
Warranty: 2 years

The face really is wafer thin and looks so elegant on my wrist.

The next set of photos were taken by the team at Filmcraft on a beautiful sunny day. I must also mention that I have very slender wrists which are too small to fit most bangles and bracelets. Radio City fits perfectly on my wrist and for once I didn't have to punch extra holes in the strap! This watch does not overwhelm or take attention away from my outfit, it just compliments it. 

Here is a close up of my makeup that day! 

I am so happy to have Radio City in my jewelry collection because it makes accessorizing for an accessory noob like me so easy. I throw it on whenever I'm wearing an outfit of a darker hue and voila, my outfit looks put together. So much love.

Radio City + Nato nylon strap: $175 USD
Radio City + Leather strap: $195 USD
Nato strap: $29 USD
Leather strap: $55 USD

Trifolgio also offers free worldwide shipping which is what we all love to hear. Each piece comes with a two year warranty too. Keep up with Trifolgio Italia on their Facebook and Instagram.

Now I would like to know, are you an 'accessory person'? What is your favourite piece?

*This product was gifted for review. All opinions are 100% honest.

Klenspop G&G POP-C A27 Brown Circle Lens Review

Sunday, 10 January 2016

I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far! My weekend has been filled with social activities and lots of coffee, just the way I like it. This is another review on one of the latest lenses available at Klenspop! I have been trying these out for the past 2 months and thought for the whole time that these were silicone hydrogel lens. Only when I started writing this review and had a look at the website again, it appears they are not! These are regular circle lenses, however they really had me fooled because they look and feel akin to silicone hydrogels!

The G&G Pop-C A27 Brown lenses (seriously, who would remember that name?!) cost $30 USD from Klenspop which is on the pricey side. But you can enter my code 
'KINE KSGK1SV1' at checkout for 10% off!

The bottle labels are super pretty and it's a shame they immediately get tossed away once opened.

The lens design is unique and really beautiful! There are hazel and dark brown streaks radiating outwards bordered by tiny semi-circles on the edge. The colour and design is very natural, however the lacy border gives it a mature and elegant feel. 

Another reason why I thought these lenses were silicone hydrogel, is that they are super thin and slightly translucent.

The lacy pattern is barely visible in the eye and it does not look harsh. In fact, the slightly uneven border of the lens makes it look MORE natural and gives my irises more of a 3 dimensional quality. Over brown eyes, the pattern and colour blend quite seamlessly to create a very elegant look that I love wearing in the day time.

As I said before, I thought these were silicone hydrogel lenses, so I was testing them out for whole days! On average I can comfortably wear these for 7-8 hours on a normal day but I do notice some catching and slight dryness at the end of the day. 

I have noticed that these can be uncomfortable to insert and I usually have to wash and reinsert them a couple of times before they settle. It seems to be only certain lenses that have this issue! Once they are settled though, the comfort level is almost on par with my favourite silicone hydrogel lenses, also from Klenspop. When I compare the two, I actually like the design of this lens better, but the comfort of the real silicone hydrogel lens cannot be beaten.

Buy these beautiful lenses here!

*I was gifted this product for review, all opinions are 100% honest.