12/23/2012

Dr. Alkaitis' Soothing Gel




First Impression

Dr. Alkaitis has two packaging versions; Europe (as pictured) and US (transparent green). I personally like the European one more because it is so very sleek and screams 'Dr. Alkaitis' name! It is slightly more expensive though buying from the Europe, I am not sure if it is also due to the packaging on top of tax, but it just stands so beautifully on the vanity anyway.

One thing that I absolutely love about Dr. Alkaitis is that it is unisex. The scent is herbal and won't refrain male or female users! Although the European packaging is more classy, the US one is also very neutral which important because the males tend to not want to be judged from using over-florally skin care. One interesting fact is that many skin care brands have higher percentage of female users, but Dr. Alkaitis has 50% of male customers which is quite unusual in the beauty industry.

What I think 

Soothing gel by Dr. Alkaitis is exactly what it is. Everything about the texture, the ingredients, the scent, they are absolutely calming to the body and mind. Unfortunately, I am unable to use this on my face as I develop irritations, probably due to the essential oils contained in it. As much as I wish I could, I am only able to use this on my body where I get irritated red bumps after I shower (on my neck, chest and arms) and also as a post-waxing treatment. This gives such an instant calming effect. Yes, instant! It's funny how my face and my body have different tolerance to products and smells, however, I am glad that I still can use it. My brother who is prone to acne uses this on his face and really likes it as it is a light gel but also moisturising to keep his face smooth and supple.

I find the scent very lasting, but I love the lasting therapeutic benefit I get from it.

Would I recommend it? 

The texture of the soothing gel is definitely a gel but more fluid, so it is very easy and quick to spread and get absorbed by the skin. If you are keen to try this (as long as you are not sensitive to strong scent from essential oils), it is perfect to use as an acne-treatment where you can slather it all over your face and neck as it gives a deeply comforting feeling and is also anti-bacterial and hydrating enough if you have combination to oily skin types. It is also good for people who have eczema and rosacea and the use is not only limited as an acne treatment, but also as a post-waxing treatment  I am not sure if it would sting, but I personally use this after waxing or shaving and it does not sting at all on me. The reason I am mentioning this is that Dr. Alkaitis blends their base of Aloe Vera and Witch Hazel in organically grown Grape Alcohol. It is supposed to be gentle on the skin because it has been formulated in a specified formulas and quantities that it actually acts as a hydrating tonic for oily skin rather than drying it out. 

12/10/2012

Home


It feels really good to be back home since it's not often that I get to meet my family and old friends. Mind you, we're 12 hours journey away with 8 hours time difference, so catching up is a bit difficult. Back to old habits; playing piano and making tunes, scrutinizing fine art, gymming, riding a bike, drinking countless cups of chai, playing monopoly and cards and ect ect.

In terms of beauty-talk, it seems that my skin is already on the havoc even though it's only spring - read: blemishes and flaky skin. My top tip is to be really gentle with your skin, I now adjust my use of May Lindstrom Skin's Clean Dirt every second day and other days, I would just wash my face with simply water. Also, don't forget to moisturise moisturise moisturise, I either do it with my Vive Sana suncreen and then Vapour's Stratus Skin Perfector or RMS Beauty's Beauty Oil as they will give you a beautiful healthy glow. I enhance the skin with Kjaer Weis' cream blush in Blossoming, Vapour's Siren lipstick in Au Pair, RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up and Living Luminizer. Keep it light and natural. I always store them in my free YSL pouch that is so convenient to carry for touch-up products. Also, Lotus Wei's Infinite Love and Inner Peace balancing serums keep me sane! Gotta love that. 

12/04/2012

The Power of Flower Essences

Irises in Monet's garden by Claude Monet | 1900 | Oil on Canvas| Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France

I was one of those who was sceptical about the healing power of aromatherapies. I always wondered to myself if it was merely a placebo effect that you can counteract whatever sadness or stress or pain you're feeling. How can a drop of essence or essential oils can make your stomach pain go away? can get you a good night sleep after countless of sleepless nights? can make you feel at peace after a long-going of stress and sadness? How? Just because the bottle claims to heal a specific thing, will you automatically think so?

I now believe that the use of aromatherapy has certainly helped me in how I carry myself. It helps me evolve as a person, and helps to rediscover what I really am and want to be as a person. It sounds cheesy I know, but it's true. Life has ups and downs, and we do need support every now and then. A drop of my favourite essence that brings delicate beautiful smell can really stand as a pillar before I go out of the house. I always set goals each day, to challenge myself and in accordance to the goal, I choose my essence. It acts like an affirmative to help me commit. Negative thoughts can often get inside of me but things as simple as smell can act as a powerful tool to remind me of what I have set for the day.

I personally love flower essences more in comparison to essential oils. Just the idea of the words 'flower essences' set me off to feeling vibrant and delicate, it instantly calms me down. Different from essential oils, flower essences do not have a scent and are extremely diluted infusions of flower, it is so diluted that there are no plants parts left in the water (source). Rather than physically extracted, essences are diluted inside a water or alcohol, and they are infused and diluted this way to capture their true vibrational energy in relation to spiritual (emotional) and physical health (source). Flower essences are generally safer than essential oils because they are very gentle and yet effective, they be used by anyone from pregnant ladies and babies to pets! (although when in doubt, consulting with an expert is the best way to ensure). Flower essences stimulate lasting changes by balancing your personal 'vibration' or unique energy pattern, thus it is adaptable to each person. In terms of effectiveness, flower essences should be used 3-5 times a day in order to feel a quick difference and keep using it to have a long-lasting result. It carries such positive energy that can immensely affect your inner. Many ways to incorporate flower essences to your daily life is to use it as an elixir (mix it into your beverages), as a mist throughout your work or living spaces, rub them on your face and neck, behind the ears and also pulse points, massages, or a bath.

My favourite for flower essences is the balancing serum range by Lotus Wei. I have also tried a couple of their elixirs but yet need to try how effective the mists work. Will be reviewing the brand on a separate post.

'I am sure that cellphones when they first came out, people were sceptical about the idea that there were little waves coming from their phones on the other end of conversation. But now, we all accept of it as a normal part of daily life. For some reason it's easier for people to accept little waves of energy can eminate from their phone, but it's harder to believe the waves of energy coming from a living plant or flower, or a person for that matter' - Katie Hannees, the founder of Lotus Wei.



Have you tried flower essences? Do you make your own concoctions or is there particular mix from a brand that you love?  

Full review on Vapour Beauty Soft Focus Perfector in S903 & Foundation in S125



I have been using Vapour's products for the past couple of weeks. I love that this duo survives in 38 degrees Celsius in Australia without melting or being cakey. As if you cannot tell already, I certainly fell in love with it.  From the foundation to the blush and bronzer, they blend and glide so seamlessly. I just haven't actually used anything like it. Without further ado, lets jump onto each of the product review.. 

12/01/2012

Vapour Beauty Soft Focus Skin Perfector & Foundation

Bare face

Soft Focus Skin Perfector

Soft Focus Foundation

I will be doing a full review on the performance of both products following this post. What I can tell you is that I love almost everything about it - it lives up to its 'Soft Focus' claim. I am perfectly happy with the coverage it provides and it does not at all leave my skin feeling heavy. As you can see, the foundation does not fully cover my blemishes and dark scars but I would prefer to use a concealer that is heavier in nature to cover what's needed.

PS: I apologize for the change in lighting and the distracting hair, hopefully the pictures will be replaced soon to get a better idea :)

11/24/2012

The Benefits of White Charcoal




Image credit to Morihota Binchotan

The spotlight of the week is Binchotan Charcoals or you might have known it as white charcoals. Little did I know that there were other types of charcoals that are great to be incorporated from your home-care to skin care. Read more below. 

Charcoals. As silly as this sounds, I never knew that we could use charcoals beyond just bbq-ing with it. Heck, I did not even realize that there were other types of charcoals such as Binchō-tan aka white charcoals. This was only until I am Natural Store stocks Morihata Binchotan, a brand that offers a range of Binchō-tan-based product like eye mask, blotting paper or tooth brush. So what exactly are they? Binchotan is widely produced and imported from a specific place in Wakayama, Japan. The charcoals themselves are derived from an oak tree and when burnt, it does not release smoke or unpleasant charcoal odour you get from other ones due to the very high pure carbon content. Therefore, Binchotan are highly recommended for grilling when you do not want the smoke to interrupt with the flavour of the food.



Now, due to the increasing popularity of these white charcoals, you have to be careful in selecting it because many claim that they are white charcoals but they are not necessarily Binchotan. Binchotan is a very high quality one, thus the high price.

What are the uses and benefits of using these charcoals? 


1. Purifies water

Wash the charcoal and then put it inside a boiling water in the pan for 10 minutes. After it's done, leave it until cool and you are ready to use the charcoal to purify your water like pictured in the first one. Put it in the fridge and leave it overnight. You can use it this way everyday until 3 months, but you need to reactivate the charcoal by boiling it every month like explained previously. 

100 g of charcoal will effectively purifies 1 litre of water per month. 

How does it work? Binchotan absorbs chlorine and other chemicals (from tap water) while releasing natural minerals of its own. It has an alkaline effect (PH level of 8 - 8.5), it softens and improves the overall taste of water. (source)


2. Biodegradable: put it in your plant pots!

After you're done using the charcoals from purifying the water and what not, break them down into smaller pieces by hammering them in a cloth (to avoid splattering) and place the pieces into your plant pots. 

What does it do? The charcoals help to increase microbial activities and alkalises the soil to reinforce the trace of minerals in it, thus making it an excellent fertiliser! (source)


3. Make your plants and fruits last longer 

Some people like to put binchotan on top of their fruits in the fruit bowl as well as put it inside a vase filled with water to make your flowers last longer. It has also been proven by Danish Technological Institute that it helps in keeping the food fresh inside the fridge- "They say; ‘Ethylene is a potent plant hormone. It stimulates the ripening of fruit and flowers. In order to prevent fruit ripening in refrigerators, a cube seems to be highly effective since it readily adsorbs the ethylene gas produced by the fruits. The cubes also seem to be highly effective when it comes to eliminating bad smell from refrigerators.’" (Source).


4. Purifies the air inside your home, your drawer, fridge, cars, closets, and ect.  

Binchotan can act as a humidity regulator by attracting moisture to it and releasing it when the air is dry. It is also a climate controller and good at getting rid of toxins and odours in the air (source: 12). It is best to place it in a small compact room. 

5. By electrical Appliances

Binchotan can block harmful electromagnetic waves with its unique electrical conductivity. Place it near the televisions, microwaves, computers and mobile phones (source)

6. For a purifying bath 

Add approximately 300g of Binchotan in hot bath water. This way, Binchotan emits ultra infrared rays which enhance blood circulation and keep your body warm and relaxed for a long time after (source).



7. Add to your rice pot/ rice cooker when cooking rice

Binchotan emits far infrared rays when the temperature rised in the rice cooker, and the rice will cook completely. Far infrared rays can retain the taste of the food and eliminate any unpleasant smells. Binchotan will release healthy minerals into your food (source).



8. Minimalist decoration pieces whilst purifying 


A few have also incorporated Binchotan into their skin care, hair care and also body care and even wellness! Here are some:

(from left to right) Morihata toothbrush in 5 different colours, Morihata eye mask to alleviate tired eyes, Sort of Coal Kuro & Shiro shampoo, Sort of Coal edible charcoal powder, Morihota facial soap, Chikuno & Sort of Coal air purifier cube, Morihata facial puff








Isn't this so intriguing? Have you tried? Are you willing to try? 

11/22/2012

My Almost Green Cabinet Inspired by Spirit's

Spirit's Magical Cabinet, unfortunately not mine. 

The thrifted creep clock, my recycled Kahina's bottle holding an awkward branch and my super special May Lindstrom Skin cleanser.

Inspired by Spirit's 'Magical Cabinet' and Green Product Junkie's, I decided to do one of my own as well. Except, I didn't have a medicine cabinet so all of my stuff are scattered here and there. Click more for below. 

11/20/2012

Holiday Gift Guide Under $40


With the holiday season around the corner, it's the time of the year when I'm the most confused in choosing and buying gifts for friends and family. If it wasn't for the choosing paper and matching ribbon part, I think I would have given up. Whilst I was at it and getting all excited this week, I picked out a bunch of items that you could possibly get for and under $40. I think they will be perfect as a gift or to spoil yourself with. You can, of course mix and match and replace this with that, depending on how you feel. Check it out below. 

11/19/2012

RMS Beauty Oil: The Liquid Gold



Spirit Beauty Lounge features this facial oil as a 'glow-getter' leaving only a glowy, not greasy sheen. Plus, it is scented with Vanilla! How delicious. I already love RMS Beauty Lip & Skin Balm in Vanilla so much because the scent stays true but when I heard that the oil is scented like one too, I could not help but get excited. I have been using it for about two months, and really notice the difference in my skin. Read more below.


11/12/2012

Kora Organics: Hand Cream & Foot Cream

Daily Hand Cream: $39.95 for 90ml    &  Rejuvenating Foot Balm: $34.95 for 90ml

I am a big sceptic when it comes to brands endorsed by a famous celebrity. But in this case, Kora Organics was actually founded by Miranda Kerr herself and the brand went through product certification by EcoCert. I adore their body care range, and my go-to products are definitely the Daily Hand Cream and the Rejuvenating Foot Balm. Read more below

11/09/2012

Intelligent Nutrients Lip Gloss: Purple Maize



It's really rare that I find myself using a lip gloss. I have to admit that I am never fond of the look on my lips and I often find that I don't like the sticky greasy texture of it. Lip Shine by RMS Beauty could be my first ever lip gloss I have tried and loved, however I think I have been cheating a bit. So I decided to try this one out by Intelligent Nutrients! What do I think of it? Read more below.

10/31/2012

Thoughts on Tata Harper Skincare

Tata Harper formulating Tata Harper Skincare. Credit image to No More Dirty Looks.

I have to admit that I have not had much luck with Tata Harper's products despite the price. I think it leans more towards dry to mature skin. The hero products for me though are the Eye Creme and the mask! I also fell in love with the floral scent that also smells very closely to fruit loops, it smells so therapeutic and doubles as a perfume. Definitely a splurge but if the line works for you, you would be so happy that they actually work. Then again,  just because it's a natural line, Tata Harper should be compared to those *high-end* anti-aging products in the market today as they are retailed for $100 and above for moisturisers. As a side note, I have only tried the little samples which I got for free from Spirit Beauty Lounge except mask and cleanser.

Here is my overall review on most TH products I have tried. Read below for more.

10/30/2012

May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt & The Problem Solver


The Problem Solver $90 | 8.45 oz / 250 ml


The Clean Dirt $60 | 6.76 oz / 200ml


May Lindstrom with Yasmina Rossi for May Lindstrom Skin. Screen-captured from Vimeo


I had been dying to try out May Lindstrom products even before SBL carried the line. I stumbled upon her website unknowingly why and was really intrigued by the brand's philosophy of celebrating beauty and far beyond. The products sound very different, in a scrumptiously good way- scrumptious because the ingredients literally smell like Christmas cookies!!!! You will be surprised how exciting the application of the products are- they fizz and puff up like a mousse. Without further ado, lets get onto the two products I have tried: The Clean Dirt and The Problem Solver. 

10/16/2012

My Quick Green Smoothie for Breakfast



I know how busy / lazy we can get in the morning, especially when it comes to breakfast. Who doesn't need  the nutrients, fats, and ect to keep us going throughout the day? (I usually have classes in the afternoon=late lunch=grumpy stomach). So what's even more convenient than a fulfilling smoothie?

10/11/2012

Sultry Smokey Eyes


This is my take on the sultry smoky eye using RMS Beauty's Magentic & Karma eyeshadows.

10/09/2012

Pink Kick



Hello. Melbourne's weather has been oddly cold again for some reason. Even with sun rays coming through, you cannot help but put on your winter coat because of the wind. Just this morning, I was deceived by the sunshine thought the weather was going to be great and threw on this make up look.. 

Prep: moisturized my face with Kahina Giving Beauty's Argan oil + Vive Sana Ultra Sunscreen. 
Eyes: I layered RMS Beauty Karma & Seduce cream eyeshadows on top of each other. 
Lips: Ilia Beauty's Neon Angel for some serious kick! 
Cheeks: Kjaer Weis' cream blush in Blossoming

Now, dab a little bit of RMS Living Luminizer to highlight your main features. Ilia Beauty actually has a similar highlighter with lighter texture (so I have heard) called Polkadots & Moonbeams. I still yet need to try it out, but more interested in the colour Sway (as a bronzer/contour). Kudos to RMS Beauty & Kjaer Weis for their user-friendly products! So easy to blend and all you need is your fingers.

And by any chance, did you guys take an advantage of Spirit Beauty Lounge's 20% off last friday? I did! I needed some products to be refilled anyways. Can't wait to receive their beautiful package in my mailbox. 

10/01/2012

Shower Routine?

In this post, I am super excited to talk about my shower routine/the products that I use in the shower. It might not excite everybody that much, but sometimes I can get a bit nosy just to see what products everybody is using in their shower. I know showering is a necessity already but it is almost like a ritual for me.from dry-brushing to moisturising. I love having that intimate relationship with my own skin, and in the end it becomes almost an indulgence for me.

9/27/2012

Spring Eyes


I helped a friend with her eye make up for her spring fling a week ago. She wanted an eye make up that pops to contrast with her little black dress.