5 affordable drugstore beauty products that I really love

There are many luxury beauty products that I love: Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil, Lancome’s serum, Sulwhasoo’s cushion foundation. These are some of the brands/products I really think is worth every dollar I spent.

But there are also a whole bunch of drugstore brands that have produced great beauty products I think are top of the range, even among the more expensive brands. And I’m going to share with you 5 that I absolutely love and am so glad that they’re not going to burn a hole in my pocket.

1. Bioderma micellar water (S$26.90)

bioderma micellar water

When it comes to skincare products, Bioderma is one of my favourite brands, and their star product is definitely their Micelle Solution. I’ve tried the Hydrabio one and absolutely love it. This is a makeup removing product, and feels exactly like you’re cleansing with water. Designed for dry to dehydrated sensitive skin, this cleanser is able to remove makeup effectively, without straining the skin a bit. My skin always feels refreshed and clean after using it.

2. Maybelline mascara (S$21.90)

maybelline mascaras

I’ve tried many of Maybelline’s mascaras and I love all of them. They have many of mascaras and they have never disappointed me. If there’s any gripe at all, it’ll be that the waterproof formula tends to be a bit stubborn, but if you could look past this and be more conscientious and patient with your makeup removing step, you’ll love that Maybelline’s mascaras really deliver dramatic results that don’t smudge much in Singapore’s humid weather.

3. Biore watery sunscreen (S$18.90)

biore uv aqua gel

This sunscreen goes onto skin like refreshing water and has a nice citrus scent that I love. It has high SPF value (SPF50+, PA++++), which means it’s able to protect your skin thoroughly. Sunscreen with high coverage typically feels thicker and oilier, but this has a lightweight texture that you can barely feel on the skin. It’s not sticky nor greasy, and is an absolute joy to apply. And I’m an advocate of lightweight sunscreen because it encourages people to apply and reapply, which is an important beauty and health tip.

4. My Beauty Diary mask (S$16.90 for 10 pieces)

beauty diary mask

This is quite a cult brand and they’re well-known for their fabulous masks. I’ve never bought into the hype so I haven’t really paid attention to it, until I was invited to be an expert judge for the Guardian Health & Beauty Awards, representing Daily Vanity, that I tried this product (and had to compare it with other masks). I eventually picked it as my favourite among the others because of how my skin really feels after application. The fit is also snug (probably because it’s a Taiwanese brand and so the mask it designed for Asian face shapes).

5. Avene facial spray (S$19.90 for 2)

avene spray

This is one of the first facial sprays I’ve tried after it was recommended to me by an ex-colleague who has sensitive skin. She absolutely swears by it. After trying, I love it too – it really refreshes my skin and helps my skin get hydrated. I’ve used pricier ones, and honestly, the result is pretty much similar. So why not get the cheaper option then, right? I heard from someone that it also helps calm itchiness (from insect bites, for instance). I haven’t tried it for myself so I don’t know if it really works, but if you’ve tried it and it worked, let me know!

Are you a dress watch person or a luxury timepiece girl?

Have you made any huge investment on timepieces before? I’m talking about shelling out a huge sum of money on watches that cost as much as an Hermes bag. I’ve heard that expensive timepieces from certain brands have investment value i.e. they may appreciate in value over time, and so it makes more sense to spend money on them, than on, say, an expensive leather bag.

I may get flak for this, but I’m still at a point where I hold a relatively expensive bag from Saint Laurent, but am happy to wear dress watches from Seiko to go along with it. When it comes to watches, I’m just a really practical person – I just need something that looks versatile enough for me to wear with my work and weekend getup, something that I can use to tell the time (I don’t really need any other function), and that is durable.

Given that I’m a really clumsy person, and I’ve watched (no pun intended) how often my new watches get scratched over just a short period of time, and it just sounds too unappealing for me to imagine one of those watches with a five-digit price tag have the same fate.

More reasons to buy dress watches instead of luxury watches?

  • With the same amount spent, I can buy many more dress watches to switch around with – variety, yay!
  • I don’t need to invest in better storage for them
  • I don’t have to worry about buying into a “poor investment” since dress watches aren’t investments anyway

And I shall end off this post abruptly with some of the pretty dress watches I’ve had my eyes on.

This one from ck looks like it’s versatile enough for just about any function – whether it is for boardroom or ballroom.

ck watch

These from Kate Spade are so playful and cute – perfect for weekends and girls’ night out!

kate spade watch

This is a good everyday watch for work.

seiko-9371-385683-1

My birthday’s coming, so looks like I may have decided what I want to get this year. #justsaying!

What to wear to the airport: Inspirations from Korean celebrities

“Airport fashion” is a term popularised by Korean celebrities, stemmed from how effortlessly-chic they look despite dressing in a comfortable and casual way. I’ve been travelling quite a bit in the last few months – including 2 two-week trips to Europe – so what to wear for a long flight is something I have to decide on more frequently recently. While I obviously am expecting to have my photos taken at the airport by the media and adoring fans, I still want to look good in my own photos since my itinerary would start pretty much right after I touch down. Here are some tips I picked up from looking at the airport fashion looks by Korean celebrities that had helped me:

1. Invest in a stylish outerwear

Whether it’s a trenchcoat, a blazer or a cute sweater, a chic outerwear helps jazz up any casual outfit immediately. I can pretty much get away with a comfy t-shirt-and-jeans combination and still look sharp when I throw a blazer on. What’s more, it serves the practical function of keeping me warm when I’m on the plane, or if I’m touching down to a colder climate. It can also be easily tucked away if I don’t need it while on the plane.

2. Sport sporty

Sportswear is comfort wear. I already have a collection of gym wear that looks pretty chic (because nice gym wear inspires me to go to the gym!) so why not give them even more mileage by wearing them on a plane? To avoid looking like you’ve really just stepped out of a gym, pair a sports top with a non-sports bottom – e.g. a jeggings (denim leggings) or other loose pants with strong designs.

3. Preppy works

Layer a comfortable shirt with a sweater, and complete the look with oxford boots or sneakers, and a sturdy satchel. It’s a stylish look to sport that you can get away with wearing socks, comfortable shoes, and a practical, roomy bag. You’ll even look put together with a pair of spectacles – after all, with the dehydrated air on the plane, you’ll definitely want to skip the contact lenses.

4. Accessorise with statement pieces

Photo source: mwave.interest.me

Photo source: mwave.interest.me

Wear your favourite white or grey basic t-shirt that you don’t mind sleeping in, worn-out jeans, and understated sneakers, then jazz up the look with a statement piece. It could be an amazing scarf or an eye-catching necklace. Remember to bring along a spacious bag with strong design to finish the look.

Where Do You Buy Your Coach Products From?

Coach has always been a popular “entry-level” luxury brand that most women who have just started working and saving money go for. And it’s incredibly popular at overseas factory outlets. When I was in Chicago a few years ago, I remember that the queue to go into a Coach store just to shop is so long, it could have taken an hour just to go in. (I don’t know for sure because I decided to spend more time at other stores because I had limited time there.)

Actually, besides outlet stores and DFS, there are also online stores that offer pretty good discounts on Coach products that you can consider. Zalora is one of them.

This mini leather bag, for instance, usually retails at SGD598, but sells at SGD297.50 on the store. Yes, it’s 50% off if you’re counting.

Coach MINI CROSBY CARRYALL IN LEATHER

It’s quite a steal, if you ask me. I’m almost sure some of the factory outlet stores don’t even give such a good discount on their products.

And it’s not just the bags. Check this out:

Coach Short Trench – Blue

This trench coat (in a gorgeous colour!) is supposed to retail at SGD995. But on the store it’s just SGD497.50. Yes, 50% off too!

I know of a lot of people who visit Coach DFS or factory outlet stores to snag some discounted Coach wristlets. They’re discounted on the Zalora store too: from SGD270 to SGD189 yo!

Coach NOLITA WRISTLET 19 IN POLISHED PEBBLE LEATHER

This wallet is drives a good bargain too.

Coach ACCORDION ZIP WALLET IN GATHERED LEATHER

From SGD545 to SGD327.

These goods all come direct from Coach, and since they’re all above SGD40, you get free delivery on them, which makes it more convenient and definitely cheaper than when you travel to visit DFS and factory outlet stores, for sure.

What do you think? Are you one of those who love to shop at factory outlet stores? If the objective is to snag good bargains, would you think that being able to enjoy discounts on online purchases is good enough for you?

It’s Probably A Phase, But I’m Currently In Love With All Things Black-And-Gold

Anyone here go through – what I call – “colour phases”? This means that for a few weeks or even months, your eyes are somehow only attracted to a certain colour and can’t resist buying everything in that particular colour. I know I do.

I’ve previously gone through a mustard phase, pale pink phase, emerald green phase, cobalt blue phase… I can go to one shop and grab three items in the same colour just because I’m on that “zone” during that period. In fact, I’m sure I can kind of tell how old things in my wardrobe are by their colours.

Current phase? Definitely black and gold. And I like it in all kinds of forms. Not a good thing for my wallet.

Baroque-style dresses (I don’t care if it’s passé), but yes, please!

black and gold dress 1

black and gold dress 2

black and gold dress 3

I’m also in love with black and gold shoes. Just look at these!

black and white shoes 1 black and white shoes 2 black and white shoes 3

I only have two pairs of black and gold shoes, one of them is a pair of Ferragamo flats that I’m wearing to death. I have this suspicion I’m going to see more black-and-gold shoes in my cabinet.

And just look at this Michael Kors timepiece!

michael-kors-7445-674133-1

Oh, it doesn’t help that Michael Kors actually have more than one watch in this colour combo. Like this one:

MK3322-0001_1

And this obsession doesn’t stop at fashion (and that’s a huge problem). I’ve also been checking out nail inspirations that involve, obviously, black and gold designs. These are some of those I have my eyes on and have every intention to recreate them over this weekend or something. Which do you think is prettiest?

black and gold nails black and gold nails 3 black and gold nail 2

And I haven’t even talked about eye makeup looks:

eye makeup 3 eye makeup 2 eye makeup 1

I can’t say no to these.

Share with me: Do you go through any colour phases? How do you cope with it? Finally, which of these items/looks do you seriously think I should indulge myself in?

5 Things You’ll Need In Your Makeup Stash For Halloween

Halloween is an exciting day for kids because they’re going to receive lots of candies; as for adults, we can look forward to dressing up in the most flamboyant way, without being judged. There are going to be tons of makeup tutorials giving you ideas and teaching you how you can pull off different creative looks this Halloween, and I’m sure you already have your favourite YouTubers to get this covered for you. So I thought I’d just share some essentials that you can start stocking up now to achieve the Halloween makeup that you will be wearing on 31 October.

1. Ultra black eyeliner

vampire-makeup

Whether it is to dress up as a zombie, a vampire, or a witch, ultra black eyeliner to either create dark under eye circles or the goth look, is a must. Besides using it to line your eyes, eyeliners are also very useful for creating motifs such as fake tattoos, cracked lines, stitches, or scars on your skin.

Tip: To make sure your eye makeup last longer, layer some black eyeshadow powder on top of black cream eyeliner.

2. White face powder

Cracked-Porcelain

White face powder may not be a staple in your usual makeup routine, but when it comes to Halloween makeup, white – yes, sheet white – face powder is super useful! Use it for looks like the dead geisha, porcelain doll, or zombie.

Tip: For a more convincing look, you’ll probably need to powder up your neck area too.

3. Bronzer

cat halloween

Contouring is an important technique particularly for Halloween makeup in order to give your face more definition or to emphasise your cheekbones (so you look more gaunt). It can also help you create the face shape that you’d like to achieve to look more like the character you’re dressing up as.

Tip: The bronzing powder that you pick should come in a shade that’s approximately two shades darker than your actual skin tone, so that the blending will look more seamless.

4. Faux blood

halloween blood

The most fun part of Halloween makeup? Blood! Even if you aren’t very creative, you can simply do the makeup that you’re used to doing every day, and then smear blood all over to achieve a gory, scary look.

Tip: Allow the faux blood to drip naturally to get a more realistic look.

5. Glitter

glitter zip halloween

If you find (faux) blood too gory, you can consider investing in glitter for a odd but glamorous look. The above image, for instance, shows you how you can replace where it is usually blood, with glitter, to give a more futuristic touch. The above example looks like an alien that’s wearing human skin. Very neat!

Tip: Be more generous with your glitter application because it’s definitely going to come off throughout the day as you perspire.

Too Lazy To Wear Eyeshadow So I Invest In Lipsticks Instead

I know I’ve made a resolution to wear eyeshadow more frequently this year, but somehow this just didn’t work out that well. Instead, I find myself wearing lipstick more often – it’s a much easier way to jazz up makeup, without committing as much time, effort and money, compared to eye makeup, I think!

Call it makeup porn, but one of my favourite things to do these days is to browse Instagram or Pinterest, looking new lip colours I can add to my growing lipstick collection. I’ve been seeing lots of photos taken by the beauty community, showing off their Stila lip products (especially the liquid lipstick!) and I just can’t get my mind off them.

There was a time I got tired of pink lipsticks, but somehow my preference towards them seems to be returning. I imagine this to go well with a frilly dress:

Stila 4

And this in coral shade melts my heart! While I have a huge lipstick collection, I don’t think I’ve had anything that’s in the coral shade yet. I’ve seen some of my friends wearing this shade and I thought that it looks very flattering on Asian skin tone and makes skin look brighter and more rosier.

stila 1

Some people may find this an overkill, but I absolutely love purple lipsticks. Like the red lipstick, it adds a glam factor to makeup, yet it’s not as cliched as red – you know what I mean? It’s surprisingly not that hard to pull off also. As long as you make sure that your brows are properly filled in.

Stila 2

And finally, classic red!

Stila 3

More than sharing with you, I’m actually taking these as my personal “tear sheets” to add to my wish list. Hahaha!

I’m actually thinking of hitting Sephora soon (there’s just no time to go anywhere with so many things lined up in my schedule), and then I realise that Stila makeup is sold online too. So I might not have to head out after all!

Which colour do you think I should put at the top of my wish list?