Are You Affraid of the Tan?

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I have been using alot of brightening products because as someone who has dry skin and medium deep complexion, my skin can look dull easily. On top of that, I have a bad habit of picking up on my zits which leave a nasty spot on my face.

While brightening products are great in evening out my complexion and making it look brighter but continous use will make my tone a little flat.

In an attempt to give back a little warm to my face, I’m trying out this Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow which not only is an exfoliating toner pad but also supposedly imparts glow (tan) to your skin when using it.

While it might be too orange-y for paler complexion, when I used it, it doesn’t make my complexion deeper nor orange. I have cool tone it should be obvious. It gives a bit of warmth to the skin and even people with several tonea lighter than me would love the glow it imparts to the skin.

I used it for 5 days straight and twice a week after that. I’m happy with the result which supposedly delivered by the existence of vitamin D in its ingredients list.

What I noticed is that there’s a yellowish tint in the pad that sort of reansferred onto the skin but prolonged exposures to it will give that warmth to the skin.

It has added anti aging properties and of course mild exfoliating effect. My only beef is the price: $35 for 20 wipes! That’s only enough for a month!

Are You Affraid of the Tan?

It’s All in the Blue

I love red lipstick.

I love blue-tone red lipstick evenmore.

The most famous one would be MAC In Russian Red. It has a nice tinge of blue in the tube but it’s not too cool that it’s universally flattering for every skin tone. Unfortunately MAC lipstick isn’t something that I pick up easily because it’s my lips nemesis. It makes my lips dry. Real dry!

While I don’t have the famous Russian Red, these three are my go to blue-tone red lipstick.

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Clockwise: Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani #400, NARS Red Lizzard & Hera #19

By the look of the bullets you know they get lots of love from yours truly.

Tone & shade-wise they all look pretty similar. With Hera being the coolest in tone of them all. The difference between each of them are the feel and texture. NARS, being NARS, it’s very drying and feels thick on my lips. But the colour is matte, deep and opaque. It stays like it means business. Hera lipstick is super moisturising, glides on smoothly and if I blot and do a couple layers it stays on reasonably. While the Armani one is similar with Hera but it melts quite easily so it’s not a good idea to bring it inside your makeup case.

So here’s a swatch comparison.

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It’s All in the Blue

What’s Your Favourite Matte Lipstick?

Matte lipsticks are great because they have excellent staying power and the colour pigmentation is certainly a beauty junkie dream. But here’s the drawback: it can be drying (real drying) and feels unbelivably thick on the skin that it isn’t comfortable at all.

Here’s the thing, there are few that I like but they’re expensive *darn*. So my pick would fall to Kiko Velvet Matte Lipstick. I love that the colour payoff is great, it stays throughout the day and it feels lightweight. More importantly, though it’s not hydrating but it’s not drying. The best thing about this lipstick is that it cost around more or less €8.

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But, unfortunately it’s only widely available in Europe! Why all good things are not accessible here in Indonesia!

In fact, in general I LOVE Kiko lipstick because they have great colour payoff – even the smart lipstick which supposedly sheer. They alao have wide variety of colours and types of lipstick.

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Their lipsticks are something I don’t feel guilty using everyday.

What’s Your Favourite Matte Lipstick?

Exfoliators, Too Good That You Want To Go Overboard With It

More than a decade ago I came home after I finished my study overseas in the midst of winter. The centre stage here is actually my skin that is suffering from the abrupt weather change from winter to the humid Jakarta weather. All hell break loose. Itchy, scaly, dull, yada yada yada. A moment in my skin history that I don’t wish to revisit.

As a religious Clinique 3-step user at the time, I was introduce to the Clinique Total Turnaround, I forget the name since it was ages ago and the product has been reformulated several times eversince. It said to help unveil a better skin and take away all the flaky dead skin cells because the acid (AHA/BHA) contained within this product will help the dead skin cells to detach from the healhy ones. Thus, revealing the healthy skin on the layer beneath it to make the appearance of your skin healthier, smoother and brighter.

I was so in love with the result. It was mindblowing. My skin looked so good that I kept wanting to use it. Before I realise it I’ve finished 3 tubes and somewhat other products from the range. In short, I was abusing the magic of exfoliator that it became so sensitive that I have to give my right of exfoliator away. It was a sad day. But that was also the moment that I got introduce to SK-II and Estee Lauded.

Years went by and I’ve tried here and there to rekindle my love to resurfacer to no avail. My skin goes red, itchy and sting to high heaven everytime it gets in contact with AHA/BHA that is more than 6% im formulation.

But throughout the years I’ve also perfected my skincare routine – double cleansing, double toning, massage, pre essence, solid bottles of serum and of course moiturisers. I tried to avoid sls, pick ingredients that work for me, do more research. I’ve managed to live with my shortcomings – a dry and sensitive skin.

What I gather over the years: exfoliating toner is not all evil as long as you balance it woth hydrating toner; physical exfoliation will only aggravate my dryness; AHA acids work better on my dry skin.

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Last week I tried the infamous Sunday Riley Good Genes – I pick the word infamous also because they’re known for the ridiculously pricey $$$. It’s filled with lactic acid – AHA, means it’s ok for me – and all sorts of extra.

What I did is every night I will use it after I double tone and after my toner dries out, put a layer and don’t put any other product on top of it. I put big faith in this product as it already garner so many positive reviews.

First day went smoothly, too smooth for my skin in fact. It doesn’t feel dehydrated at all. The next three days I start noticing little bumps, my skin is purging. But the next morning after this occur my skin looks more radiant and smoother. God, how I miss resurfacer product. They’re god sent! But by the sixth and seventh days obviously my skin is starting to suffer in the hydration department.

My verdict? Well, this product certainly live up to its hype. But I’m still squinting over the fact that it’s so bloody $$$. I couldn’t help to wonder how it wage against Clinique Turnaround that is only half the price.

Exfoliators, Too Good That You Want To Go Overboard With It

Throwback: The First Makeup Brand

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MAC will always have a sentimental value in my heart. Though by now, as a full fledged beauty addict, I’ve outgrown the brand.

I got first introduced to the brand when I was in my first year middle school. My mom visited Canada few times that year and she got hooked on the brand. She said that this makeup brand is literally everywhere there.

Since that was the year of the sexy maroon lips sported by Drew Barrymore at the Guess campaign, I couldn’t pass the chance to get myself a tube of similar-looking lipstick when my mom offered. It was MAC lipstick in Marrakech.

It was then as I held my first tube of serious lipstick that I knew my affair with makeup will not be a short one.

While I’ve venture to many different brands over the years, my mom is still loyal to MAC till this day. These are the empties from Mom’s stash that I brought to MAC store in Singapore for Back2MAC. It’s a programme where you can exchange six empty packaging with a brand new regular packaging lipstick. Sweet, huh?

Unfortunately we don’t have similar programme here in Indonesia. Nearest place that you could do your exchange is in Singapore.

Throwback: The First Makeup Brand

Going nude!

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I used to exclusively only wear nude coloured lipstick which most of them are Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick. I love the clickable and discreet black gloss packaging. So when I found out they have a gloss version I just have to give it a try. It just lands in store when I visit Singapore couple of weeks ago. I picked the colour Sensuel which is a truly lovely nude. This now becomes my staple. Love the colour to bits. Will certainly do a #LipstickMonday post at FD one of these days.

Going nude!

The Recipe of Success in Instilling a New Habit

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This is what truly means by being in your 30’s – that you have real friends that excel in their job and have the time to do workout amidst their busy work schedule and for some, family. But it’s not just about habits and how you manage your times, your physique starts to show some signs of your age. Oh, yes, again the horrid of realising that age is really catching up with you and you begun to realise that you yourself need to take the joke of managing your time to squeeze in some of workout times.

I guess it’s cliché if I tell you that I’m used to be a couch potato – I still am – and I managed to drag myself regularly to the studio nowadays at least twice a week. I guess like any other thing in life the real key of instilling this habit part and parcel relies in discipline. You set a standard for yourself how many times a week you’re willing to commit – mine is twice a week – and try without fail to fulfil this target no matter one. Once you get into the habit of this discipline it will just work round the clock automatically that your body and mind will demand it.  Much like waking up at the right time for work in the morning.

Secondly time allocation. I don’t think I have more than an hour a day to workout and that’s why I love a 60-minutes studio session that is compact. I once tried a 90-minutes Yoga session and it truly wreak havoc to my routine. I came home too late or arrive at the office too late. Apparently 90 minutes is much harder to squeeze to my routine compared to 60 minutes – albeit only 30 minutes in difference. Time also means that the schedule of the workout works well to yours. Of course going to the gym is best in terms of time flexibility because it means you could come anytime you want. Fix schedule means that you have to attend at that specified time – which is why I choose this type of workout because if I leave the decision in my hands I have the tendency to flake. Classes conducted early in the morning or right after 6PM works great for me because that means I don’t have to come home too late.

Lastly accessibility. The easier your gym or studio is the less you will resent going there. You could choose somewhere that is near your home or office. If you workout more during weekdays and your home is quite far from the office, with Jakarta traffic I suggest to pick gym or studio that is nearer to your office. Whereas if your allocated time to workout is during the weekend and/or the distance between your office and home doesn’t take that long to reach, I really prefer somewhere closer to home.

An addition, by all means get some attires that makes you happy working out and don’t feel miserable in.

The Recipe of Success in Instilling a New Habit

There’s Such Thing As Natural Makeup

The most famous quote on natural makeup and probably one I used oftentimes in my article is by Calvin Klein where he said that the best thing is to look natur but even looking natural takes a lot of makeup. You got that right.

But lately I’ve not one that would want to spend ages in front of the mirror to do my morning makeup so I opt for natural look. Also I think the time has passed for me to play woth colours. I had fun, time to move on.

So here are four of my favourite products to create that look.

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1. MAC Heatherette Beauty Powder Blush

Instead of using the normal loose or finishing powder to set my base – I normally just use tinted primer or moisturiser on daily basis – I choose a pale pink to give a little freshness to the face. Sweepbit allover the face light handedly with powser brush. This one is unfortunately a Limited Edition product but previously I’ve used Benefit Dandelion – it has a bit of shimmer – and it works perfectly well on my complexion. I have deep tan tone with cool tone complexion so pink really goes well to rid of the dullness from my face. If you have yellow tone try yellow or green shade powder.

2. Make Up For Ever Eye Shadow Crayon 24E

I love the idea of eye shadow crayon that is so simple and not messy. I usually swipe the crayon on to my lid and smear it allover the lid with my finger. The only problem is if you dont use eyeshadow primer it creases mid day. But dusting a transparent powder on top of it will also help to set it. I love this colour because it gives a nice pinkish sheen that open up my eyes and the illusion of no eyeshadow look.

3. Chanel Blush in Pink Explosion

I love how a baked blush could gives a really nice transparent glow and this one is no different. Considering it’s Chanel, enough said! Though the colour is scary in the pan, considering I have medium deep complexion this gives a lovely flush when I apply it lighthandedly. Remember, always tap the excess off your brush before you apply the blush to your cheeks. That way it will give you just a hint of pink that is buildable.

4. Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss in Sensuel

This lipstick line has always been a staple for years and I never go without one nude from this line. Considering I’ve tried too many nudes from the lipstick line this time around I pick the gloss. Still with the ever so sexy clickable tube, the formula is as heavenly as the lipstick. It goes on smoothly, hydrating and though the colour is not really opaque but it covers my natural lips colour. Literally gives my lips but better because of the lushness given by the gloss. I’m hooked! Thinking of getting more.

Those are just about what I used everyday – not including base, mascara and eyeliner.

There’s Such Thing As Natural Makeup

4 Things I Love About Soya

The saying that “you never know what you have until it’s gone” is indeed very true. Well, I’m not talking about a significant someone here *ahem* but I’m actually talking about tempe. Oh, my god, I could tweet (and probably instagram) so many status updates just talking about tempe. Wait, actually I did so much so that my friend could not believe that I would tweet about eating tempe goreng in the middle of the night is as glorious as a foie gras mousse atop a warm baguette and worth tweeting for (insert face palm emoticon here). Some years ago where I studied overseas tempe is a luxury for a uni student because it’s so damn pricey that the price is equal to 300 grams of beef – I rather pick the latter because the tempe they sold is just really tasteless and not airy enough. If you’ve deprived of the luxury of tempe for six years, you’ll come to appreciate it as much as I do. But my obsession toward soya product doesn’t end there. That’s only the first thing I love about soya.

The second thing I love about soya is soya milk! It’s among one of my favourite drinks especially when it’s cold and you add a fine thick palm sugar syrup into it just like how they usually serve it at a Japanese restaurant. It’s  a real treat on a bloody hot day.

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Which bring us to my third and latest obsession: the soya pudding! I love how soya pudding have a lovely silky texture to it but have that soya after taste that I’m so fond of with a twist of flavour. The texture overall reminds me of kembang tahu. But usually after halfway through the plate, the blandness in taste of kembang tahu becomes really boring compared to the modernised execution of soya pudding with several flavours to choose from. My favourite are almond and green tea.

HSO-3-LiterBut I’m not finished yet. The last soya produce that I’m quite fond of is soya oil. As much as I love deep fried tempe, and I eat it like almost everyday, I know how very painstakingly unhealthy deep fried food are. So the humble tempe usually get an upgrade by deep frying it in another painstakingly expensive olive oil but healthier – so I get a piece of mind knowing that I put a little effort. But not only olive oil is expensive but it get hot rather fast so that often times it burns my favourite thinly sliced tempe mendoan. In search of the perfect oil to deep fried my tempe I found Happy Soya Oil that costs only a third of olive oil and is easily accessible in most supermarket! Soybean oil doesn’t get burn so easily so it’s a perfect choice for deep frying method. Since it’s rich in linolenic acid it’s considerably a healthier choice than your average cooking oil. It also doesn’t taste funny and fatty on my food so I’m really happy with the result it gives to my food. On top of that, you could also use this oil to emulsify your salad dressing (mix it with a bit of balsamic vinegar, lemon and sugar) in replacement of your extra virgin olive oil. Since I don’t use extra virgin olive oil that much other than for dressing, I always find it to be such a waste to be buying a whole big bottle. So knowing that soybean oil is kind of multipurpose just seal the deal for me.

But the highlight of it all is that soya is apparently good for the skin. Oh yes, I’m very much obsessed about my skin so whatever is good for my skin, bring them all! So if you haven’t already yet obsessing with soya as much as I do, you could start by switching your cooking oil and start your soya culture today!

4 Things I Love About Soya