Review: K’s Magic Lens

I was at Orchard Cineleisure the other day, and saw passed by the shop at  Level 2.  It’s been a while since I’ve worn colour contacts, and the amazing seller I was going to on Instagram has stopped her business. I was thinking of going to Freshlook or Acuve from any random optician, but decided to give this a go. It was a bit of a risk as there aren’t very many reviews online, and the shop doesn’t have photographs of what the lens look on the actual eye. The website does though, so you might want to check that out before buying anything. I find that the photographs aren’t the most helpful though, as the flash they use when taking those photographs make the lens look a lot more unnatural than they actually look in person.

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By the way, these are circle lens from Korea. Circle lens are really popular in Asia, which are contact lens that cover your iris, as well as the area outside of it. As a result, they make your eyes look larger. I’m not a fan of the too-big ones, and don’t get any beyond 14.5mm in diameter. (Click here if you want to read more about circle lens.)

The lens are between $40-$50 for a pair, which will last you six months. That’s quite pricey, especially since I paid $20 for the last pair I bought, and you can get much much cheaper online, but I figure I better not risk the eyes, right? They were having a promotion, any 2 lens for $80, so I bought two pairs of the $50 ones, Kakao Mint Ash and Kakao Gold. You can go for a monthly cleaning at the store, which is a great perk. Also, I like the contact lens cases you get with them, aren’t they cute? They come with a mirror and little tweezers. Continue reading

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Review: Sabbatical Beauty

Hello! It’s been a really long time since my last post. Today I want to finally get around to writing on Sabbatical Beauty, a skincare brand I’ve been in love with for the last six months. This is a long long long overdue post in which I will attempt to use as many adjectives as possible to describe my many feelings for Sabbatical Beauty. the tl;dr version of it is that while expensive, I’ve found that I’ve loved most things I’ve tried from the brand.

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First haul: Revive set, Shine Like A Diamond set, and a full-sized Marine serum

Does it work?
The short answer is: yes.

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iLights shoot

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Did makeup for this shoot all the way back in March, with Nahuey Photography and the beautiful Christina as the model. The photographer told me that he wanted something bohemian, so I did a light smoky eye and a washed up beach look. Lots of sea salt and wax in that hair!

In retrospect though, I would have styled it slightly differently. I’m thinking a more graphic kind of look, with slick black eyeliner, a dress with a more sculpted shape. Would definitely have been fun with the light exhibition going on at Marina Bay!

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Review: Hair Inc. @ Serangoon Village

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Repost from my Instagram as I basically wrote an essay on how much I love my hair, and it needs to be shared.

Because I do not talk about my hair nearly enough (even though every day I am a little more awed about its glory), here is a dedicated post on it.
So I went by Hair Inc a month ago looking for Jameson. I’d been stalking his Instagram feed since he joined @hairincsg, and it had been about three months since I’d had my hair done in the salon. In that period of time, I’d touched up my hair myself with Manic Panic dyes, and also had a friend bleach my roots at home. It did not end well, and my hair was left patchy looking; half my roots were bleached the colour of my scalp (I looked like I was balding) and the other half were still a dark brown. I needed professional help, desperately.
I basically told Jameson he could do whatever he wanted to my hair, as long as he fixed it. He told me that he was going to give an ombre – purple at the roots, red at the end – to solve the patchiness. He then mixed up the Pravana Vivids (which I had used back in September to get a glorious flaming red) with the new Pravana Black to get deep purples and reds.
Now, I’m not a stranger to gothic reds, but the Pravana Black left a kind of smokiness to the hair that was really different from the last few times I did dark red to my hair. I actually wasn’t entirely sure I liked it when I first got it done – I’m so used to vivid flaming scarlets. After a few washes, the complexity of the coloures used really started coming out and that was when I really started to love the piece of art that is my hair.
It’s been a month since my visit and this is how the colour looks right now. It went from a deep rich wine and burgundy to a dark amethyst and a rusty red. The Pravana Black adds a kind of smokiness to the colour so it doesn’t look like a washed out pastel, or faded hair that is in desperate need of a touch up (I’m very particular about the last part). Even my mother (who is not a fan of anything that is not brown or black hair) approves of this.
10/10 Hair Inc, I can’t wait for my next visit. This time, I’m thinking of a ruby red.

Also, if you’re interested, here’s the progression of my hair throughout the month:

Week 1 starts out a really dark deep colour. It wasn’t quite gothic, and was definitely more purple toned than the hair I’m used to.

 

In week 2 you can see how it’s faded out some. The roots are more purple than black now, and the red is becoming a bit more prominent.

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Week 3 and you see how the colours are more pastel than they are jewel-toned.

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And finally how it is now:

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Hair Inc has two branches, one in Serangoon Gardens and the other in Holland Village.

Facebook | Website | Price list Price list 

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Off-Duty

From the photoshoot earlier this week. WordPress’s photo grid function is pretty cool, I love how it arranged the photos!

Photography and edits by Sweetz Memoirs Photography
Makeup, modeling and styling by myself

Bottom from So Frocking Good
Brows: MAC Dipdown Fluidline, L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper in Medium Brown/Dark Brown
Base: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick #2.5,
Eyes: Urban Decay Snakebite, Urban Decay Chopper, Urban Decay Foxy, Etam Black liner, Benefit They’re Real! mascara, MAC Extended Play Gigablack Zoom Lashes
Cheeks: Benefit High Beam, Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick #5, Benefit Rockateur
Lips: Jordona Plush Plum Lip Liner, MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Living Legend, OCC Triptych Lip Tar
Finishing powder: Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder

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20 Day Lipstick Challenge – Day 14 (photoshoot preview)

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Day 14 Ombre Lip: Jordona Plush Plum Easyliner, MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Living Legend, OCC Triptych Lip Tar

Posting this a little late, but I wore this on Tuesday, and did a shoot with it!
I’ve done a similar ombre lip before, only I think I used a black liner at the ends, then shaded it out to the dark purple, before the red and then the gold. I didn’t really trust myself to not ruin the makeup though, so this is what I got instead.

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#20daylipstickchallenge Day 13

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Day 13 Summer color: MAC CB96  
Given that I live in an island of perpetual hot sunny weather, you’d think it would be a little harder for me to pick out my perfect summer color. I was debating for a while about Happy Skin’s Summer Crush Shut Up and Kiss Me Lippie (which is another gorgeous shade that deserves a post all on its own) but then I realized I had to talk about MAC CB96 (I’ve even written a full review on it before).
From its tube, it looks like a scary bright vivid orange. However, being from MAC’s Frost line, it’s somewhat sheer, and the orange shade is lightened by the gorgeous gold frost in this (it’s such a pity that my camera doesn’t better capture the gold, but you can kind of see the gold highlight on my lip). This is one of those colors that will look very different from person to person, depending on how deep your natural lip color is (my lips are quite naturally red so it turns out quite a lovely coral).

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#20daylipstickchallenge Day 12

This series was inspired by the lovelies Juvy from Plump Cheeks, Rae from Scatterbraintures and Elaine from Flabs Rule. They started the new year with the #20daylipstickchallenge. Do check out their blogs for awesome lipstick suggestions! I’ll be doing one lipstick every day I can (or at least on all the days I wear makeup). 

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I’ve had this in my bag ever since I got this sample sized Benebalm in November. It’s pretty much my replacement for my Korres Wild Rose Lip Butter; a red tinted lip balm that I use when I can’t be bothered to touch up my lipstick but don’t want my lips to look too nude. It’s nowhere nearly as pigmented, but smells lovely, and works well enough as a lip balm. I doubt I would ever buy a full-sized version on its own though (which costs SGD30). But for now it will stay in my purse/makeup bag.

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#20daylipstickchallenge Day 11

This series was inspired by the lovelies Juvy from Plump Cheeks, Rae from Scatterbraintures and Elaine from Flabs Rule. They started the new year with the #20daylipstickchallenge. Do check out their blogs for awesome lipstick suggestions! I’ll be doing one lipstick every day I can (or at least on all the days I wear makeup). 
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Day 11 Lipstick with the Best Packaging: Revlon Complex Matte Balm
Most people would talk about a Guerlain, YSL or Chanel lipstick as they’re really beautifully packaged, but unfortunately I really don’t own any lipsticks from these brands.
I was thinking my beloved Urban Decay lipsticks again – I just love the heft of the lipstick case, it feels so expensive, and they’ve got an nice sleek design. The magnetic clasp is also really satisfying to use.
But in the end, I decided on the Revlon Matte Balms. This is a very practical choice: I love how easy it is to tell what colour the lip pencil/lipstick is and, and I don’t have to dig through my stash and squint at tiny little words on a sticker to figure out what color they are (I’m looking at you MAC). Even the Clinique Chubby Sticks have this annoying metal thing on the ends of the lip, so when I’ve got them all stuck inside of a little pot, it becomes a little hard to just pull out the product I want from the mess.
I own Complex, Standout, and Sultry from the Revlon Matte Balm line, and chose to use Complex today. This is the beige I use whenever I want really heavy eye makeup, and don’t want anything to detract from it. It’s nice because it really removes the ruddiness in my lips without making me look ghost-like. I also love the minty smell this formula has. While it doesn’t have the most amazing range of shades, what they have are really lovely, have a nice matte finish without being too drying, and are so easy to bring around.

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Beginner Basics: Skincare 101

I’ve done a loads of writing so far on skincare (10,000 words and counting) but I get that not everyone wants to start on a 10-step regime. So this is a post for those currently not doing anything to their face and get down to basics.

But first, let’s clear up a few misconceptions.

So I have oily skin. This means I don’t need to moisturize right?
No. Oil and water is different. Your skin cells require water to function properly, and your body produces a natural oil to act as a defensive lipid barrier to ensure the water in your cells stay put. Most moisturizers are water based and are meant to increase the water content of your skin cells. It’s actually pretty common to see dehydrated oily skin. Also, when your skin is dry, it attempts to produce more sebum (oil) to compensate, leading to clogged pores, blackheads, acne, etc. So, as counterintuitive as it seems, moisturizing your skin will actually make it less oily.

Well, what if I have dry skin, so I don’t need to – 

Ans: You still need to skincare (yes I’m using it as a verb now). Dry skin means your skin has inadequate oil and water levels. This therefore means that your skin can get damaged in cold or dry weather more easily, as it doesn’t have a protective layer of sebum over it, which means you need to keep moisturizing it to prevent further damage from environmental factors such as the sun, wind, humidity (or lack of) etc.

But I drink water to replenish my skin’s water levels!
Look, our bodies just don’t work that way. We aren’t plants, and our skin doesn’t just get okay because we drink water. Water doesn’t just go directly to our skin cells; it’s used for a few hundred different uses in our body. The rehydration of our skin cells isn’t top of the priority list. If you have excessively dry skin, oil-based moisturizers or facial oils can also be extremely helpful in creating the above mentioned protective layer of oil to ensure your skin doesn’t keep losing water.

Okay, but I don’t have acne I don’t have to do anything right? 
Acne isn’t the only indicator of unhealthy skin, (dry skin doesn’t have acne for instance, but still requires TLC) and everyone should be going out with sun protection anyway. Since sun damage means wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer.

Okay, so now you want to get started on your skincare but there are SO MANY PRODUCTS OUT THERE and it’s all very confusing. Here’s the most stripped down, basic skin care routine everyone should be doing:
 
1) Cleanse
2) Moisturize
3) Sun protection 

How do I tell what skin type I have? 
You can have oily skin, dry skin, normal skin, or combination skin. How do you tell what you have? When you wake up in the morning, touch your face.

Normal skin: Your skin feels smooth and supple, without oil or flaky patches anywhere.
Oily skin: There would be loads of oil all over your face (obviously). Does your skin have the tendency to look shiny, and do you have large pores?
Dry skin: Does your skin feel itchy or tight? Do you have small patches of dry skin?
Combination skin: This means that you have a combination of the above symptoms. Most people have combination skin, with an oily T-zone (the forehead, nose and chin area) with dry to normal cheeks.
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Your T-zone. Image from here.

Take note: You may also have sensitive skin (do you break out in rashes or acne easily? Are you allergic to many products?) or acne-prone skin. You’ll need to pick a product suitable for your skin.

Okay, now I know my skin type. What kind of cleanser/facial wash should I pick? How many times a day should I wash my face?
You really don’t need to spend much money on this! Drugstore brands such as Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Cleanser (click here for a full list of Cetaphil products suitable for your skin type) and Neutrogena have facial washes that are effective and very gentle on the skin. Avoid things with fragrances or methanol (this is often characterized by products that promise a cool minty feeling), especially if you have sensitive skin as these will only aggravate your skin and might cause allergy reactions. If you’re still confused on what products to pick out, just go for the cleansers that are gentler on the skin, such as the Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser.

Wash your face twice a day; when you wake in the morning and at night before bed. If you wash your face too much, you end up stripping more moisture and sebum from your skin; too little and your pores will get clogged.

What kind of moisturizer do I use?
Again, go for drugstore brands that are catered for sensitive skin, such as the Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 50+. Apply after cleansing and drying the face.
 
What kind of sun protection do I use?

Please please use the kind of sunblock that’s suitable actually sold for the face. The kinds you apply on the body are a bit oiler than the norm and will lead to break outs, which you definitely don’t want. Again, check out brands like Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Face + Body Stick Sunscreen Stick. Apply after moisturizing.

And that’s about all you need to get started! If you’re interested in learning more about skincare, you can read my other posts (found below) on the topic. Thank you very much for reading!

For More Of My Writings On Skincare:
My Skincare Journey Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
The Korean Skincare Regime Explained
What Are You Putting On Your Skin? Skincare Ingredients Explained.

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