Beauty Confidential; Spring & Summer Beauty Haul

A confession---despite the array of beauty products & skin care that line my bathroom shelves, I don't actually use any of it.  The layer of dust on everything attests to that. The rows of bottles of Dermalogica skincare my mother shoves into my luggage...? My guests get more use out of it than I do. All the beauty products in my bathroom is more or less purely ornamental. Truth be told all my life I've never looked after myself as I felt I had no need to. Even as a teenager I had smooth skin untouched by hormones & angst (instead that manifested themselves in my annoying narcissistic existentialism). For that, I thank my parents for their excellent genes. Face wash? Serum? Toner? I have the same word for all of those, I call it water.

This year, however, I've decided to actually start using the beauty products & skincare I buy, instead of hoarding and then moving them to the guest bathroom. Reason one; I'm shocked by how high-maintainence some females are and there must be a good reason behind it so I'd best play the game, Two; I'm appalled by how many people look a lot older than they are because of negligence (sun wrinkles at 25? That's not 'YOLO', that's carelessness), Three; It's a nice little indulgence and everyday I get to have a pampering ritual. Having a routine can be relaxing, soothing even. We all need constants in our lives.

This Spring & Summer I shall endeavour to use these...

...I just realised almost everything is from East Asia; Japan, Singapore, Taiwan. Represent.

"Handcrafted TWG Tea-infused candles transform the luxury of the incomparable TWG Tea drinking experience into a breathtaking olfactory sensation." *source* 

I have a great love for scented candles; I squeaked like a happy hamster when the door gift for last year's Jo Malone fashion party was the roasted chestnut deluxe candle. Can't wait to use them; I've already decided on Bain de Roses for baths, White Earl Grey in the day, Miraculous Mandarin for evenings, and Black Tea for seduction. 

For summer, I favour the lighter take on the classic over the original No 5 which I find too...matronly...? Heavy? Powdery? Anyway, a sweet departure from Cuir De Russie which I sport in colder months.

Travelling candle, purse spray and body butter: Diptyque
I have to have a bit of Diptyque with me when I travel. I'm thinking of carrying the mini candles in my handbag and just lighting up randomly at cafes, hotels, friend's places...So soothing having with you a familiar scent. 

Sunblock: Boots No 7 (only made for the Asian market I believe, I got mine from Bangkok)
I know it's terribly en vogue to be sporting a glorious, golden tan, but that's no reason to go out in the sun unprotected and risk looking like a leather handbag in thirty years.

A pet peeve---When Caucasians see a 'whitening' product or Asian girl sporting light hair, and jump to the conclusion that they want to 'look white'. Colonial hangover, you say? How presumptuous and pompous to think that the rest of the world wants to look like you. The fairer is better philosophy may have classist origins, but this isn't about thinking that your genetic makeup is superior to other races'. Whenever someone patronises an Asian with "Oh, 'you all' wear makeup and get cosmetic surgery because your culture is obsessed with looking white"...Or just as bad; a 'compliment' like "You must be mixed because you're so pretty (what is unsaid is "You must be mixed because you're too pretty to be *insert whatever ethnicity you actually are*)" I get so angry about the casual racism. Is that the word? No, it's ethnocentrism. Even worse when it's from someone of the same culture, you should really know better. I happen to like being Chinese; I'll age better, I have strong, thick hair, and hairless skin. You can keep your misplaced superiority, I don't want it. 

*rant over*

Anyway; it's not about whitening your skin, it's about brightening and making it radiant. 


...I love Japanese drugstore beauty products.

Makeup remover: Bifesta water based eye makeup remover. Gentle enough for eyelash extensions. 

Hair fragrance: Ma Cherie Love how sweet & flowery this smells.

I got given little samples of StriVectin-SD tightening face serum, exfoliator, and eye concentrate for wrinkles. Should I be worried?

Everyone's been raving about this, lucky me this was in my goodie bag at the opening night of Stylo. Thank you Shu Uemura, that's very sweet of you.  

Face cream and mask; Bio-Essence 

Bio-Essence face-lifting cream has somewhat of a cult status for actually taking inches off the face in minutes, as claimed. I love how each tub comes with a measuring tape to compare the before & after. The face slimming effect only lasts a few hours, I use this for when I have water retention ie. flying, too much salty food or 'carb-face'.

Trust Bio-Essence to capitalize on the new snail mucin trend. The mucin isn't just beneficial for repairing and smoothing my skin, the sliminess also comes in handy for lubricating my jade bangles so I can slip them over my knuckles and onto my wrist. Bird's nest & I really have to say anymore? Every Chinese person knows the benefit of bird's fact my best friend's family does a roaring trade farming them. If you're reading this (you know who you are) please come up with a skincare line. Love you.

Face masks: ePure membranous jelly masque ie. a facial in a packet. I scooped lumps of cold jelly onto my face, went about my business (it doesn't glide off) and left it alone for half an hour. Scraped it off with the spatula that came with the box and my skin literally shone like marble afterward. What sorcery is this...!? At RM89.90 for a box of 6 packets (about 2-3 weeks supply) it isn't the cheapest, but it's definitely cheaper than a facial...!

It's a bit of a splurge to use everyday so I alternate with Love More 'Snail Healing' and 'Super White' masks. If it's good enough for stunning Taiwanese girls, it's good enough for me.

I nearly forgot to include these...!

I see this iconic healthcare company's logo everywhere I go in K.L.  I'm ashamed to say that  I've always dismissed the brand as a favourite of hippies and old people because of the packaging and design (I judge products by their graphics &'s one of my worse flaws as a person). But...! Their foaming face wash and face scrubs are really good, I fell in love with their herbal products when Michiekins introduced me to the Purifying Neem Foaming Face Wash. She also told me our mutual friend, also her neighbour was the Malaysian franchise owner....I had no idea! I think it was fated for Himalaya Herbals to enter my life.

The milky, heady almond scent smells so delicious I just want to eat it with a spoon...or better still cover myself in it and eat myself up. Narcissism at it's finest. 'Eat me'!

Now, to see if I will actually use any of these as more than bathroom decorations. 

March 27, 2013

Beauty Confidential; Spring & Summer Beauty Haul

A confession---despite the array of beauty products & skin care that line my bathroom shelves, I don't actually use any of it.  Th...

Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Grand Prix: The Voodoo Ball, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Awards Gala, & Aloft Grand Opening

Last Thursday, the 5th & final evening of Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Grand Prix was also the night of the  Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Awards Gala and the launch of Aloft K.L Sentral. Dubbed 'The Voodoo Ball', the theme du nuit was gothic. 
Although most of the guests were more glamourous than ghostly, the dramatic fashion presentation by Jovian Mandagie and the staggering presence of the MC more than made up for the lack of the macabre.

Not very long ago the gothic dress code would have truly been up my street, but as I've softened my 'look' of late, my ensemble that night was more like a walk down memory lane. Now you're just somebody that I used to know. 

In true Chinese style, the opening ceremony of the new Aloft K.L Sentral featured a lion dance.

Z & M.

Waiting for the show to start. Forget the performers and their disco sticks, the whole time I couldn't take my eyes off Kai Schlickum (Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Mercedes Benz Malaysia) who was sitting right across me in the front row. I'm probably biased because he's exactly my type---at least 10 years older, tall, salt & pepper hair, blue eyes---but, still...the man is handsome. His wife is a lucky woman.

The MC was a vision, towering on stilts yet walking with the ease & deliberate grace of...Jack Skellington. Who I'm certain was her inspiration that night. 

Models who complain that walking in heels is difficult, please watch this woman and learn.

The show opened with La Formela from Czech Republic who showcased silky, printed ensembles not unlike the pyjama trend that took S/S'12 by storm. It all looks terribly comfortable, and I think the loose, slouchy cuts would be especially suited to tropical Malaysian weather. Freezing cold London, not so much.

Followed by Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Awards Gala, of which a very unfortunate jacket design with what looked like dandruff on the shoulders rendered me so distracted that I forgot to take any pictures.

Right after, a presentation of emerging young designers (all students from local fashion schools) who used recycled materials to create unexpected designs.

Tan Chun Yong's creation, 2nd Runner-Up of Mercedes-Benz STYLO Emerging Designer of the Year 2013.

This was my favourite, by Kelvin Raw Yi Shuen. I wanted so badly for it to wing (haha) but it came first runner up of of Mercedes-Benz STYLO Emerging Designer of the Year 2013. Still a huge achievement though! And look, there's Kai Schlickum looking dapper even without his jacket.

Arisa and her creation. I once shot Arisa for Kiss Me's Facebook competition, I had no idea she was a designer as well, I only thought she was a model. So many talents, so little time!

Melinda Looi's fashion presentation put the show back on track to the gothic theme of the night.

Then the lights went out for Jovian Mandagie's collection.

A booming voiceover. Hooded figures in black bearing lanterns and music instruments glided down the catwalk. An orchestra and choir of hooded musicians accompanying the dramatic soundtrack with the violin, cello, chants, and choruses. 

A singer dressed in Jovian Mandagie pierced the deep, rumbling music with her high, clear soprano as models took slow steps down the catwalk, pausing ever so often, all the better to show off Mandagie's elaborate gowns and headpieces festooned in lace, spikes, feathers, and snakes.

I recognized a few similiar elements in this collection to the one he did for the Magnum Chocolatier Collection earlier this month. The fringing in the dresses, the colour scheme, the way the silk trains of the gowns billowed as the models walked.

The only way Jovian Mandagie could top this is with real snakes in the headdresses.

Of course he won Mercedes-Benz Stylo 'Designer of The Year 2013'. It's the year of the snake, and clearly the serpent boded well for Jovian Mandagie. His lucky animal this year.

He led his models out to the catwalk for the grand parade. The other designers and the competing design students followed suit with their models and designs.

Everyone stands with bated breath as the winner of the award 'Emerging Designer of the Year 2013' is announced...

...and it goes to Phuna Boon Yi...! 

I'm loving the height difference, it's so adorable & endearing, like an elder sibling protecting their younger!

The grand exit.

While the designers were being interviewed we made our way to the dessert table...

...and encountered living, flesh-and-blood table props! This lady with skewers of cake in her hair kept so still, that in the red light she almost looked like a mannequin. "What a realistic-looking decapitated head" I thought, then she turned and made me jump. She laughed, and when I reached to the plate for a cake she said "Take one from my hair!" Anything to lighten her load...!

We headed to the afterparty upstairs and were greeted by yet another infinity pool with a view of the city skyline. Is this a recurring theme in my life? Is the universe telling me something? Certainly. Time to build an infinity pool.

Michiekins looking gothic, for once...! I like. (Dark) soul sisters.

March 26, 2013

Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Grand Prix: The Voodoo Ball, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Awards Gala, & Aloft Grand Opening

Last Thursday, the 5th & final evening of  Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fashion Grand Prix  was also the night of the   Mercedes-Benz Stylo Fas...