Thursday 31 March 2011

Anna Sui Glittering Mermaid Beach Collection

The Anna Sui Glittering Mermaid beach collection launches tomorrow (Friday) at Isetan stores and the testers were already on display at Isetan Orchard today.

The Double Eye Colors are S$39, the Eye Makeup Sets are S$58 each and the Pedicure Sets S$76 each.

Below are swatches of the Glittering Color from the Eye Makeup Sets #1 (left) and #2 (right). These come with a sponge doefoot applicator and basically show up clear with a smattering of glitter. They can be used either as mascara or eye colors.

The nailpolishes in the Pedicure Sets are lovely vibrant shades but given the relatively high price of the Pedicure Sets, I wish that the nail polishes were full size instead of just 5ml (half of the regular size) each.

Here are swatches of the Double Eye Colors, which contain 0.8g of product each. These have sponge applicators that you dip into the tiny pots inside the end caps. Each Double Eye Color has a very shimmery icy shade paired with either a bolder metallic or a satin shade. The photo below was actually taken 7 hours after I did the swatches with my camera, as I had left my camera at home. By then, the bottom row of more shimmery shades had faded somewhat. The swatches were done without any primer or base underneath. Most of the shades had good colour payoff.

There are a number of unusual shade combinations in the line-up like #1 which is a bold metallic blue paired with a gorgeous mauve with pink shimmer, reminiscent of MAC Trax (the swatch had faded quite a bit by the time I took these photos and it's much prettier in real life). I also liked the metallic royal purple of #3.

The photo below was taken shortly after I did the swatches with my Samsung Galaxy Ace phone. It shows more accurately the high shine nature of the shades in the bottom row, but it didn't capture the metallic and satin shades in the top row accurately.

I decided to test the lasting power of the Double Eye Colors further by not removing them before my shower. After the shower, I also washed my hands with a Lush soap. I was impressed that some of the metallic shades actually lasted through both the shower and handwashing. The more shimmery shades had all disappeared while the metallic light leaf green and royal purple shades lasted the best.

A Surprise Gift from Mai-Kat Oshaberi

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Kat of Mai-Kat Oshaberi and told that I had won the third prize in their 1st blogversary. Mai and Kat had done the drawing unannounced for their current public followers, which I thought was really thoughtful of them. The package of beauty lovelies landed in my mailbox yesterday, all the way from Hawaii!

In it were My Beauty Diary Natto Masks and Intensive Refining Eye Mask, Tarina Tarantino Magic Hour Smudge Pen in Purple Velvet (below), Maybelline Fit Me liquid foundation in Classic Ivory and Wet n Wild Lust palette. As Kat knew that I already had the Lust palette, she included the Fit Me Foundation as a last minute surprise and told me to do whatever I liked with the Lust palette. Hence, I've gifted the Lust palette to Mag (Makeup Stash) as she appreciates an excellent smoky eyes palette :-)

I'm truly touched by Kat's and Mai's kindness and loved everything in the package, especially the gorgeous Purple Velvet Smudge Pen and the Fit Me foundation which I had earlier contemplated purchasing while in the US.

A heartfelt thank you to both Kat and Mai!

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock and Biore UV Bright Face Milk

Before my Maldives trip, I stopped by Watsons to pick up a new tube of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF30 (88ml). This had worked very well for me during my honeymoon in Honolulu last March and my skin didn't tan at all. I briefly considered splurging on more expensive Japanese brand sunscreens like Allie which have a much lighter, watery texture but these were just too expensive at around 3000yen (S$45) for a 60ml bottle, whereas the Neutrogena sunblock was only about S$14.

The Neutrogena sunblock is supposed to be waterproof, sweatproof, non-comedogenic and non-oily with a light fresh scent. Parsol 1789 provides broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. While the sunblock does live up to its Dry-Touch name, unfortunately it failed to adequately protect my skin against the blazing sun of the Maldives. We usually spent about one to two hours on the beach or swimming each day and I slapped on the sunblock liberally before going outdoors. By the second day, I had a burn on my arms and legs with a smattering of small red dots on my legs. Fortunately, my face and neck didn't burn thanks to the Body Shop Shiso BB Cream SPF25 that I was using.

Following the trip, my arms and legs are much more tanned than before and it will probably take a few months of minimising sun exposure to get my skintone back to its original state. The skin on my legs felt tight but at least there was no peeling and flaking. One week after the trip, most of the small red dots have faded but some still remain. A small section of the top of my scalp, near the hairline, also got burnt and I had to deal with pieces of it literally peeling off, like giant pieces of dandruff.

I suspect that the reason why the Neutrogena sunblock didn't work well for me this time was maybe because I went swimming, whereas I didn't in Honolulu. Even though I re-applied the sunscreen right after swimming, I still got sunburnt. By the end of our 3 day trip, we had almost finished the tube so it probably wasn't a case of not applying enough sunscreen. Next time, I'll probably choose a sunblock with a higher SPF.

For the face, I usually pick a sunblock that is a light lotion which is less likely to clog the pores than a creamy formula. On this trip, I used a sample tube of Biore UV Bright Face Milk SPF50 PA+++ on my husband and occasionally on myself. Below is the ingredients list.

As you can see in the pics below, the Biore UV Bright Face Milk has a more watery texture compared to the Neutrogena sunblock. The light pink lotion is a boon for oily skintypes like mine as it dries quickly to a slightly powdery finish and adds a very subtle glow to the skin. It also absorbs faster than the Neutrogena sunblock without any whitish cast.

As sun damage is a key cause of skin ageing, do remember to ensure that you have adequate sun protection before spending prolonged periods outdoors. For me, that will mean bringing a hat and a sunblock with higher SPF to the beach in future!

Samantha Vega Opening Day

Last Sunday morning, Samantha Vega opened its first store in Isetan Orchard at 10.30am to an eagerly awaiting crowd in a sea of pink, thanks to the promise of a free tote bag for the first 50 customers dressed in pink.

Some ladies were accompanied by their supportive boyfriends and husbands also in pink!

Naturally, all the free tote bags were snapped up in a flash and quite a few disappointed customers had to be turned away after the cap of 50 was reached. My husband and I got there just past 10am and were #47 in the queue. (No, he was not in pink.)

Love the pastel quilted and tweed wallets but think I'll stick with Samantha Thavasa's Liberty prints for now!

The bags are mostly priced at $300+ and several designs come in two sizes. If you would like to know the prices, you can ask on the brand's Facebook page.

Here's the free tote bag (which has a price tag of 4830yen), which I'll probably gift to a young cousin. Wonder if the ladies who queued up at 9am were disappointed when they saw it?

OPI Steady As She Rose

Here are swatches of OPI's Steady As She Rose, from the new Pirates of the Caribbean collection. It's a slightly dusky, creamy pale pink. This was two coats over Dolly Wink Smooth Cover Base Coat and topped with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.

This tended to be streaky on the first coat, but a second coat covers up the streaks for an opaque finish.

I purchased this from TimTam at S$12. Evonne (Evonnz, Amy (Purplio) and Kas (Shine, Shimmer & Sparkle) also got their Pirates nailpolishes from her. Do check out their respective blogs for more swatches! :-)

Anna Sui Beach Collection

According to the latest Isetan newsletter, the Anna Sui Beach Collection will be available exclusively at Isetan from 1-7 April!

The Glittering Mermaid themed collection can also be viewed on the Anna Sui website. The collection includes 7 new Double Eyecolors, 2 Pedicure Sets and 2 Eye Makeup Sets. The Double Eyecolors are permanent while the Pedicure Sets and Eye Makeup Sets are limited edition.

Each Pedicure Set includes two 5ml Nail Color P, toe separators, a Leg Mist (50ml) and a metal can measuring 10x15cm.

Each Eye Makeup Set includes a Color Mascara WP, a Glittering Colour (which can be used as mascara or eye color), and a metal case measuring 10x8x2.5cm.

From tomorrow until Sunday, Isetan cardmembers will receive 10% rebate vouchers with every S$50 spent.

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Upcoming Japanese Magazine Freebies

Here are some upcoming Japanese magazine freebies for April. The release dates listed below are for Japan so please check directly with Kinokuniya if you wish to know when they will arrive in Singapore. Kino's air shipments usually arrive on Wednesdays and Fridays but there could be delays depending on the situation in Japan.

Mini (1 April): May issue comes with Lowry's Farm drum bag measuring 24.5x17cm.

Steady (7 April): May issue comes with Kumikyoku bag measuring 31.5x35x14cm.

Sweet (12 April): May issue comes with Mercury Duo lunch tote.

Cutie (12 April): May issue comes with Mercury Duo retro floral print lunch tote.

Nonno (20 April): June issue comes with X-girl bag measuring 37x41x11cm.

Ray (23 April): June issue comes with L'Est Rose compact mirror

Maquia (23 April): June issue comes with Mary Quant nail stickers.

Spring (23 April): June issue comes with Gelato Pique bag and pouch.

More (27 April): June issue comes with Agnes b. voyage 5-pocket bag measuring 15x22x6cm.

25ans (27 April): June issue comes with Fendi hair band in either blue or pink.