Vanity Trove February 2013 Box

Filed Under (bodycare, cosmetics, haircare, lotions, mask, moisturiser, primer, serum, shampoo, skincare) by rinnah on 04-03-2013

Beauty boxes have been around for some time now, but the trend only touched our shores as recently as last year. Vanity Trove has been operating in Singapore and just started with their inaugural Malaysia box last month.

Naturally, I wanted to see what was in the box. ;)

First off, I really like the packaging – the sturdy box with a slide out drawer makes it easy for me to reuse it to house my ever growing cosmetic stash. I reckon I’m going to stack it up in multiples of three to make my own ‘chest of drawers’.

vanity trove february

Here’s what you would have gotten if you subscribed for the February box :

  • Wella SP Colour Save Shampoo and Mask
  • Oriks Wild Ginseng Stemcell Twister Essence
  • Oriks BB Cream
  • Benefit POREfessional
  • B.liv Off With Those Heads Blackheads Sebum Gel
  • Di Palomo Tuscan Rose Hand & Body Lotion

Seven different products, of which 3 were handy travel sizes and the other 4 were sample sizes. I’ve always held that beauty boxes are a good way to test out which products are new to you without having to commit to a full size. This concept works for me because of my finicky skin, but it’s also a double-edged sword cos I never know if the products would be suitable for me. In any case, I do like getting a surprise every month and usually spread the product love to my family and friends. (For this month’s Vanity Trove, my mom snapped up the Di Paloma hand lotion, simply because it smelled so lovely. *wink*) As for me, I’m most interested in trying out B.liv’s blackhead sebum gel because of my unending war on blackheads – why don’t they ever go away?

If you’re interested in signing up for your own Vanity Trove, just check out their website.

VT get started card 2 R1-01

Note : The product/service in this post was provided for consideration by the brand itself or a PR firm. This does not affect my review in any way and do refer to my disclosure policy for further details.

Fabulous Finds August 2012 Box

Filed Under (bodycare, cosmetics, fragrances, haircare, lotions, mascara, mask, mask, serum, shampoo, skincare) by rinnah on 29-08-2012

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Remember my previous post on the launch of Fabulous Finds in Malaysia? Well, another month has rolled around (so quickly!) and it’s time to peek into the August 2012 box.

Fabulous Finds logo

This time around, the melon pink box was couriered to my doorstep and just in time too, arriving before the Hari Raya holidays were in full swing. As the theme of the month went, I was looking forward to saying hello to “Fabulous New Discoveries”.

Fabulous Finds August product list

Here’s a list of what you can expect inside your beauty box – I particularly like how clearly Fabulous Finds lists the usual price of each product. To borrow Domncroxd of Belle Demoiselle’s term, it’s like a menu, only in this case not of food but of beauty products.

Fabulous Finds August box

For the month of August, Fabulous Finds outdid their July box:

  • Empro Brown & Black Mascara (full sized)
  • Jurlique Balancing Day Care Cream
  • Lanvin Femme Couture
  • My Beauty Diary Facial Sheet Mask (one piece)
  • Olive Hand Moisturising Cream
  • Skinz Infinite Youth Recall Serum (full sized)
  • Wella SP Repair Shampoo and Mask

Colour me impressed! That’s seven different items to test drive (eight if you count the Wella shampoo and mask separately) and two of them are full sized products. There’s also a MYR 10 cash voucher for Beaubelle products and a 50% discount voucher for a Jurlique facial treatment. When you consider the fact that subscription to Fabulous Finds is only MYR 35 a month and includes courier delivery to your doorstep, that, my lovelies, is a real bargain! :D

There were not so many well known, higher end brands in the August box as compared to the July box, but still these are brands that people should have seen before and are easily found in Malaysia. Maybe the next step might be to expose Malaysian beauty lovers to overseas niche brands? I’m looking forward to finding out in the coming months.

For more details or to subscribe for the September box, visit Fabulous Finds’ website here.

Note : The product/service in this post was provided for consideration by the brand itself or a PR firm. This does not affect my review in any way and do refer to my disclosure policy for further details.

The ArglyDuckling

Filed Under (bodycare, cosmetics, lip balm, lotions, mascara, mask, moisturiser, nail polish, skincare) by rinnah on 04-07-2012

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I grew up with proper, old-fashioned storybooks in my childhood days. The standards – Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, The Three Bears, Goldilocks – you name it, I’ve probably read it. (My age is showing, isn’t it?) :P

And who could forget The Ugly Duckling? The story that promised you that one day, you would turn into a beautiful swan, loved and revered by all.

Well, some enterprising folks here in Singapore have taken the traditional fable and given it a right modern twist. Say hello to the ArglyDuckling online boutique. Where everyone (not just us girls) can look gorgeous if we want to, with just a little bit of effort and patience!

Right now, ArglyDuckling carries some niche, exclusive and hard-to-find brands in Singapore, like Blinc, Ciracle and Nature Girl to name a few. I was recently invited to a preview of some of the products and brands that they offer and I certainly was intrigued by more than a few!

argly duckling

I have plenty of photos for your viewing pleasure (together with my mini commentary/first thoughts about the brand or product) so mosey along after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Introducing Fabulous Finds – Malaysia’s first Beauty Box subscription service

Filed Under (beauty, bodycare, cleanser, cosmetics, events, lotions, moisturiser, online shopping, powders, services, skincare) by rinnah on 27-06-2012

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If you’ve ever enviously looked on while our beauty blogging sisters in UK, US, Australia and Singapore talked about the beauty box subscriptions available to them, fret no more! Starting from now, Malaysia has its first beauty box in Fabulous Finds.

fabulous finds 01

For just RM35 a month, you’ll get 4 – 5 deluxe beauty samples from high-end and niche brands in a pretty box and delivered to your doorstep via courier.

I was invited to the launch of Fabulous Finds last Saturday and had a preview of the July box. What’s in the box?

As a nail polish hoarder, my first thought on seeing the pretty melon-pink box was, ‘Yes! I can keep more polishes in that box!’ :P because that’s how I’m storing my ever-expanding collection of polishes.

fabulous finds 03

Inside the box we find:

  • Beaubelle Clarity Brightening Cleansing Exfoliator
  • Beaubelle Gorgeous Multi Defence Protection Cream
  • Burt’s Bees Cranberry & Pomegranate Scrub
  • Burt’s Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion
  • Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturising Cream
  • Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional
  • Crabtree & Evelyn Iris Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy
  • Lunasol Skin Fusing Powder Foundation
  • Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

I was quite pleased with the brands represented in the first ever Fabulous Finds box – well known brands do a lot in reassuring me and I like that they were not your average drugstore brand but yet not so high-end so as to make them inaccessbile.

The deluxe beauty samples in the box were pretty decent too, and there was one full sized product in the Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy tube which if you buy retail is about RM25. Also, the Beaubelle products, Benefit’s POREfessional and Lunasol powder were travel-sized.

The subscription point of RM35 is reasonable in my opinion, and not likely to break the bank for a boxful of pretty surprises. I personally like to think of my beauty box subscriptions as little monthly presents to myself for being a good girl. *cough* :P

fabulous finds 02

But you know what really made me like Fabulous Finds? I like that the founder, Hui Ling (that’s her in the picture above), really believes in giving back to the community. Did you know that each box is packed with care by women from disadvantaged backgrounds? This gives them the opportunity to gain employment and supplement their income even though it may not be able to provide them with a full-time income.

I’m really looking forward to see how Fabulous Finds progresses with their subsequent boxes and am more than happy to support a homegrown, local business.

You can subscribe to Fabulous Finds’ July box for just RM35 before 14 July 2012 as the boxes will be mailed out by courier starting 15 July 2012. There are only 180 boxes for July so you’ll need to be quick to reserve your box! Subscribe at the Fabulous Finds website here. Only available to residents of Malaysia.

What’s inside my Bellabox June 2012

Filed Under (bodycare, fragrances, lotions, serum, skincare, toner) by rinnah on 21-06-2012

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june bellabox

I think of all the Bellaboxes I’ve received thus far, I’m liking the June Bellabox most of all. :D

Themed the Summer Upgrade box, I was extremely psyched to find out that June’s box included sample/travel sizes of the following products:

  • Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
  • Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner
  • Ralph Lauren Romance
  • Biotherm White D-Tox BB Cream
  • Biotherm Lait Corporel Body Moisturizer
  • Lancome Blanc Expert Derm-Crystal
  • Lancome Genifique Youth Activator
  • Shu Uemura Whitefficient Brightening Gentle Cleansing Oil

Whew! That’s quite a bumper box of goodies! :D

So far I’ve already dug into Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and you can betcha I’ll be purchasing this once I’ve finished up my sample. I’ve already been using Ralph Lauren’s Romance perfume, so having a travel vial allows me to keep it in the office.

Do you have a Bellabox subscription already? Or does this box tempt you to sign up?

What beauty related stuff do you keep at work?

Filed Under (bodycare, cosmetics, heels, lip balm, lip gloss, lotions, shoes) by rinnah on 01-05-2012

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The idea for this post was generated from a random chat with Beetrice (during work hours! :P ) one fine day and I got the idea that it would be fun to see what kinds of beauty related stuff people would keep at work.

I tend to go for the minimalist approach where possible, but soon found out that what I considered minimal was a whole lot more than what some of my beauty blogger friends had (which is nothing! Paris B, I’m looking at you!). But then again, some of the stuff I’ve listed aren’t strictly make-up or skincare related. I’ve just included them because I consider them to be part of ‘beauty at work’.

Are you ready for the virtual tour? Heheh.

Essentials that I need at hand on my workstation :
- Box of tissues (for my sinuses. Atchoo!)
- Avène Thermal Spring Water spray (to combat the drying effects of the office air-conditioning)
- Small standing mirror (to check myself out; also a gift from the lovely Syen)

Hidden away inside my drawer, tucked inside a pink cosmetics pouch from Daiso :
- tiny DKNY Pure Verbena scent spray (from one of my Bellaboxes)
- Liese Juicy Shower Hair Fragrance Spray (for those days when you eat out and come back smelling like a kitchen)
- Folding comb (also picked up for a song at Daiso)
- Oil blotting papers (I ‘fess up, I have two types – both powdered and non-powdered)
- Lip balms (not one, not two, but four! Estee Lauder Lip Conditioner SPF15, Mentholatum Pure Softlips in Honeydew, Pangea Organics Lip Balm in Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom, and Maybelline Lip Smooth in Rose – the last one is a tinted lip balm)
- Lip products (mini Smashbox Lipgloss in Buff, Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Rose Pearl, and Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum)
- Assorted medication (for the sudden fever, cold, allergy, headache/migraine)

Also hidden inside my drawer but not in the cosmetics pouch :
- Small tub of Vaseline (original petroleum jelly type, not cream or lotion)
- Santa Verde Aloe Vera Creme in Medium (doubles as face and hand moisturiser)
- Crabtree & Evelyn India Hicks Island Living Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy (a gift!)
- A’kin Lavender, Geranium & Jojoba Hand, Nail & Cuticle Creme
- Vitamins (Blackmores Cold Combat, and Scott’s Vitamin C Pastilles)
- Shoe shine sponge (part of a travel toiletries set)

And last but not least, something I consider essential to beauty at work for me… uh… four pairs of high heels under my table.
- Aldo Doyscher heels in black leather (super love them – my Louboutin dupes!)
- Rockport Luciana pumps in sandstone (a new addition bought on sale…)
- Lewre work pumps in black leather (my go-to regular shoes)
- DMK peeptoe heels in camel (when black just won’t match my outfit of the day)

So, what do you keep at work that’s beauty related?

Palmer’s Olive Butter Formula

Filed Under (bodycare, lotions) by rinnah on 17-08-2011

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In my ongoing quest for the perfect moisturizer, I picked up a travel-sized bottle of this body lotion from Watsons Singapore figuring that the handy size would make it perfect for stashing in my drawer at office.

palmer's olive butter formula
Image credit

For a product that has both the words olive and butter in its name, this body lotion is surprisingly not super oily. It makes my hands feel soft and well moisturized all over and does a stellar job of it. But that’s all the good things that I can say about this body lotion. Because other than this, I developed an intense dislike towards this product because of its scent.

By golly, is it ever so strongly scented!

Not that it’s an unpleasant scent, on the contrary it smells like olives and reminds me of The Body Shop’s olive shower gel which I loved. But whereas my nose could stand TBS’ olive scent, my sinuses decided to rebel against Palmer’s olive scent.

I’ve tried it a few times now and each time with just the teeniest smidgen for my hands and arms up to my elbows. (A smidgen = less than half a pea sized amount of the body butter.)

It’s so strongly scented it gives me an instant headache barely minutes after application. And the scent lingers. One hour later and I swear I can still smell it in the air. It bothered me so much between the scent, the headache and the sensitive sinuses that I actually went to the washroom to try and wash it off (since I’d only applied the body butter on my hands). I ran my hands under running water, rubbing and a scrubbing without soap for close to 5 minutes and I can still smell the scent on my skin! Argh! Talk about being potent.

But to give it credit where credit is due, this body lotion did not break out my sensitive skin. Just that my nose can’t stand it. I’m sorry Palmer’s, while I liked the moisturizing feel of your olive butter formula, the scent just kills me. Literally.

Yes factors : Nice and moisturizing without being oily, convenient travel sized bottle
No factors : Strongly scented, gave me a headache

Steam Cream

Filed Under (bodycare, lotions, moisturiser, skincare) by rinnah on 15-08-2011

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I’m a sucker for packaging and I’d been lemming after getting me one of these cute-sy Steam Cream tins for the longest time. What can I say? There’s just something that calls to me – the minimalistic aluminium tin with a variety of limited edition designs to cater to your every whim and fancy.

Steam Cream tin designs

I picked up my Steam Cream while I was in Hong Kong for HKD 138.00. Score! Because after currency conversion, it worked out to be cheaper than Malaysia (anywhere between MYR 59.00 to 65.00) and Singapore (SGD 26.00). The moment I realized it was cheaper, my friend couldn’t pry me away from the Steam Cream display at Harvey Nichols Beauty Hall until I’d bought one to take home.

Here is the design I’ve chosen – Liberty, featuring the Stars and Stripes of the American flag. Yes, I know I’m not from America, but it was either this or the Union Jack and I’d seen that design available in both Malaysia and Singapore, whilst the Stars and Stripes have not made their way to the online stores here. (Actually, it was also because my friend remarked that I didn’t seem to be the type to go for a pinky, flowery, girly or frou frou design. Haha.)

Steam Cream Liberty

But enough about the tin and the designs! How does Steam Cream actually fare when it comes down to use?

Steam Cream is supposed to be a cream manufactured with the latest concept of skincare in mind, pioneering the use of a steam technique to create a unique, gentle and loosely bound emulsion which is supposed to work on both your face and body. Essentially, it is a multi-purpose cream!

I like the scent, which is really relaxing and smells like lavender to me. But me being me with my sensitive nose, I can’t slather on lots of Steam Cream at one shot without feeling overwhelmed by the scent. So it’s a no go on my face for me. With a bit of practice, I’ve found my nose adapts best to the scent when it is massaged on in little doses at a time, so for now Steam Cream shall be my new relaxing nightly ritual and body moisturizer. I’d wager the scent helps promote better sleep for me too, because I always feel like I have some aromatherapy going on with the soothing lavender scent.

As for the cream itself, it initially feels a bit oily to the touch, but when used sparingly, it sinks into my skin fast enough and leaves behind a hint of fragrance that makes me happy. I find Steam Cream works best on slightly dry or normal skin because I find my arms and body to be loving it. But I’m guessing it would take a lot and frequent applications for it to work on the dry scaly skin on my legs (yeah, I have super dry skin there that looks like scales and flakes off in chunks).

Also, those of you who are fastidious about your skincare may not like the open tin concept of Steam Cream, but you can easily get around this decanting into a smaller jar or even a pump bottle (since the formula is not so thick) but that would just make the whole idea of the tin’s design meaningless, yes? I prefer to keep mine in the tin that it came in and make sure that it lies flat so that the cream doesn’t spill over the top when I unscrew the lid.

In a nutshell, I love the design factor and luxury feel but I’ll probably need something more moisturizing (and less scented!) for long term use.

Yes factors : Lovely scent, cute designs, does the job well enough on normal skin
No factors : Scent can be too strong for some, tin design doesn’t encourage hygiene

Packaging : 75ml

Recommended retail price : MYR 60.00 or SGD 26.00 (online pricing)

Read other blogger reviews here :
Paris B
Pretty Beautiful

A miniature haul from Hong Kong!

Filed Under (bodycare, cosmetics, fragrances, lip gloss, lotions, moisturiser, retail shopping, skincare, suncare) by rinnah on 25-07-2011

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Ah Hong Kong! How I miss shopping there already… and I’ve only been back for a week. :P

Being a total newbie (it was my maiden trip to HK), I was totally unprepared for the bright lights and myriad stores. But I was lost the moment Kahani introduced me to Bonjour.

When she showed me the section on sample/travel sized products, I was completely sold on the concept and there was no turning back. The majority of the stuff you see in the picture below is from Bonjour, with a purchase each from Sasa, Harvey Nichols Beauty Hall and duty-free at Changi Terminal.

Hong Kong miniature haul

In no particular order, I came back with :
1. Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Rose Perle
2. Steam Cream
3. Lanvin Marry Me perfume miniature
4. Talika Lipocils Expert eyelash serum
5. Lancome Hydra Zen Neocalm detoxifying moisturising multi-relief anti-stress gel essence
6. Lancome Hydra Zen extreme soothing moisturising cream-gel
7. Lancome Genifique Youth Activator serum
8. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex serum
9. Estee Lauder Hydrationist Moisture Barrier Fortifier ultra-hydration serum
10. Dior Capture Totale One Essential skin boosting super serum
11. Diorsnow White Reveal essence
12. Shu Uemura UV Armor high protection face cream SPF 50
13. Shu Uemura Deepsea Hydrability moisturizing gel cream
14. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
15. Kiehl’s Ultra Facial micro serum
16. Laniege Water Sleeping Pack_Ex
17. Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale exceptional complete care serum
18. Clinique Take The Day Off makeup remover

Whew! That’s a lot of miniature stuff, methinks! :P

And did you notice anything about the list above? It’s mostly skincare with a heavy slant towards hydrating stuff and anti-aging stuff.

I’ve been lemming quite a number of these serums for some time now, so yes, I am one very happy camper. Let’s hope that my sensitive/problematic skin takes kindly to me experimenting in the next few months!

How I wish I had access to these miniature pretties in Singapore or Malaysia all the time…

Read other blogger notes on shopping in Hong Kong here :
Paris B

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion

Filed Under (bodycare, lotions) by rinnah on 21-10-2010

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Burt's Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion

Tagline : Wave bye bye to dry skin

Description : Treat your baby’s precious skin to this moisturising lotion, featuring natural emollients like buttermilk and beeswax to seal in moisture. This rich formula also includes nourishing botanicals like sunflower and coconut oils to soothe baby’s skin.

Directions for use : Massage lotion all over your baby’s body as often as needed.

My review :

Yep, I’m a baby to be using Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Lotion.

When I stopped by the Burt’s Bees standalone store at the Curve to pick up a tin of their famous hand salve, I couldn’t help but be attracted to the display of their baby products. The sales assistant told me that the Baby Bee products is formulated to be gentler than the already mild Burt’s Bees lotions and that sold me on the range instantly since I have rather sensitive skin.

I use this lotion on my hands and body just before I go to sleep and feel very, very babyish indeed. In actual fact, the lotion smells of buttermilk, and while I’ve never smelt any babies smelling naturally of buttermilk (normally they smell of baby shampoo or spit-up milk! LOL), but just because of the words Baby Bee on the bottle, I think I smell like a baby! This would not be a lotion I would be applying if I wanted to be doing some other type of nocturnal activities, if you know what I mean. *wink*

The lotion sinks into my skin fast enough so that I don’t feel overly oily when I slip between the sheets and it does a fine job of keeping my skin moisturized – no dry flakes when I wake up in the morning, so that’s a plus point in my books since my skin is dreadfully prone to flaking. It doesn’t do anything super fantastic that other moisturizing lotions won’t do and it’s not exactly the cheapest lotion out there, but I like using it and feeling pampered like a baby every now and then. Oh and the buttermilk smell will be either a hit or miss, so be sure to take a whiff of the smell before you purchase.

Yes factors : Keeps skin soft and moisturized
No factors : Buttermilk smell; higher than average price for a moisturizing body lotion

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