9/24/2013

Underwhelmed with Intelligent Nutrients Renewal Complex Eye Gel




When it comes to eye treatment, I am not quiet concerned as long as I have my facial oils that will hydrate my eye area. They never give me milia as far as I can tell. Just until recently, its come to my attention that I need a product to address my dark circles and de-puffing. As you might have known, I am a big fan of Tata Harper's eye cream but I cannot justify the price for a little part of my face just yet. So I was fairly intrigued by this one. As soon as it came out, I grabbed it off of SBL with their 15% sale. I thought it wasn't too pricey for what it claims.. and I crossed my fingers hoping it would work.

Unfortunately, I am feeling underwhelmed by this eye gel. It is a runny gel texture goes well with the massaging applicator. It takes long to absorb which is useful if you really want to massage it in instead of patting it with your fingers. For the first week or two, I was excited about the idea of the applicator but then I just gave up. If you're committed, then go for it. I honestly don't see any drastic difference with or without the applicator. I find that even though it's a gel (which usually implies for lighter hydration in comparison to creams), it is slightly too moisturizing for my sometimes-it-feels-tight eye area. I don't like it during the day as I notice oily residue in my eye lines.. and when gel doesn't absorb nicely, it becomes slightly sticky on the skin. So, as a concealer wearer, I definitely have to be aware of tugging.

Good news is, it works kind of well for de-puffing as it does feel cooling and refreshing at times. I wouldn't say it is completely effective but yeah, it helps. There also seems to be a very faint scent of Edelweiss flower.. which technically almost smells like nothing, so that's a positive point about the fragrance.

Saying that, don't let my thought on this hold off your purchase. Intelligent Nutrients makes a great Cellular Renewal Complex for a facial area treatment that receives rave reviews. I know Spirit from SBL looooves it. I can see a slight similarity with the ingredients used, so I do believe that this eye gel can work on some people. Although I am not impressed, I can recommend it to those who are battling fine lines and wrinkles and also eye area that is dry. Worth a try.

INGREDIENTS: WATER/AQUA, GLYCERIN,1 XANTHAN GUM, LEONTOPODIUM ALPINUM (EDELWEISS) MERISTEM CELL CULTURE,2 CENTELLA ASIATICA (PENNYWORT) MERISTEM CELL CULTURE,2 BIOSACCHARIDE GUM-1, PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINE, ECHINACEA ANGUSTIFOLIA (CONEFLOWER) MERISTEM CELL CULTURE,2 CALENDULA OFFICINALIS (MARIGOLD) FLOWER EXTRACT,1 CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER) FRUIT EXTRACT,1 TILIA CORDATA (LINDEN) FLOWER EXTRACT,1 MELILOTUS (SWEET CLOVER) OFFICINALIS EXTRACT,1 NIGELLA SATIVA (BLACK CUMIN) SEED OIL,1,3 CUCURBITA PEPO (PUMPKIN) SEED OIL,1,3 RUBUS IDAEUS (RASPBERRY) SEED OIL,1,3 VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED OIL,1,3 VACCINIUM MACROCARPON (CRANBERRY) SEED OIL,1,3 SODIUM HYDROXIDE, DEHYDROACETIC ACID, TOCOPHEROL (VITAMIN E), CITRIC ACID, BENZYL ALCOHOL4 1 CERTIFIED ORGANIC 2 PLANT STEM CELL ANTIOXIDANTS 3 ANTIOXIDANT INTELLIMUNEᄄ SEED OIL COMPLEX 4 NATURALLY OCCURRING COMPONENT OF ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND

Stayed tuned for an excellent eye product that I have been loving recently...  

9/19/2013

A Long Time Favorite: Yarok Leave-In Conditioner

Photo source: Scent Hive & Yelp 

Many have raved about the Yarok line, but I myself, is not ready to splurge for another high-end line especially after my disappointment with the Rahua Volumizing duo. However, I have been a long-time fan of Yarok's Leave-In conditioner. It's been helping me to cope up with my brittle, straw-like ends of my hair.. even when I have long, medium, or short hair. It is long-lasting and all you need is a couple of sprays to get it nicely conditioned. To be honest, I never liked using hair conditioner because it never made a drastic difference unless what I wanted was one that weighs my hair down. I just never had much luck with it. On top of that, I don't like the 3 minutes waiting around time in the shower for my conditioner to absorb. That's why the Yarok Leave-In conditioner comes in handy for me! It never disappoints. I love that it's a leave-in so that it stays on my hair all day and I can use it whenever I want to (to damp hair though!).

The spray delivers a fine mist but I don't like that I don't have a complete control of where I spray this. I just don't want it to travel to my scalp where it gets greasy easily or accidentally sprays the side of my face with it. So I spray it onto the palms of my hands, and that way.. I can just apply only the ends of my hair and wherever I wish. I let my hair dry naturally, and I'm left with soft hair that is free from tangles, sufficiently conditioned. Especially now that my hair is short-medium length, it is perfect! It might not be enough for people who have very dry hair, but for fine hair or curly hair that needs softening and defining, it is lovely.

You will notice that the first ingredient is a Vitamin Water concentrate. Yarok does not disclose what the water has been infused with, but I am certain that it adds nourishment to my hair, even if it's only a slightest bit. The Vitamin Water has been mixed with a number of organic oils that will leave your hair tamed, soft and conditioned. Olive moisturizes and tames frizzy, dry and tangled hair, Grapeseed prevents hair loss, Apricot conditions and softens hair, and Evening Primrose is high in EFA to moisturize hair and scalp and also help to prevent hair loss. The combination of Rosemary and Litsea Cubeba is also quiet pleasant if you're into herbal and citrus smell. I personally quiet like it as it gives a sense of lighter feeling on my hair. I make sure I shake the bottle before I start using...!

On Yarok website, leave-in conditioner is under Styling product category. It is actually meant to be for heat-styling and blow-drying pre-treatment! But I don't do any of those and use it as a conditioner only.



Interested in the Yarok line? If you're in Australia, get it from I Am Natural Store, but everywhere else.. Spirit Beauty Lounge is always my first destination to find awesome brands! 

9/15/2013

Once upon a night.. MUN Dream Youth Serum happens


Ever heard of Munemi Imai? Well, she's a renowned make-up artist that has been booked in for Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar to grace her talented hands on her living canvas.  When I found out that she was the one responsible for creating this magical regenerating facial oil, I am not surprised. That means, she knows how to heal her models' stressed out skin to make them feel renewed and radiant again.

I hope I didn't lose you on the word 'magical' because it truly is. It is such a gorgeous, lightweight facial serum/oil that will benefit all skin types from acne-ic to mature skin, I really don't care, it's for everyone. Remember the light texture of Argan oil? It's pretty similar. Within overnight of using 2-3 drops of this precious oil, my skin seems to heal itself much more quickly. Literally, every-time I have irritations or slight redness from pimples, I resort back to this which makes me wish that my sample would never run out. And when my skin is looking dull and sallow, this one is the all-in-one solution that brightens up and evens out the skin and yet balances the oil production of your skin while adequately hydrates. Go to sleep, sweet dreams and it will put a smile on your face the next morning. The Rose scent whispers its delicate sweet scent and still mingles around until the next morning. If you have fine lines and wrinkles, I am confident that this serum will smooth them out overtime as it makes my face unbelievably silky the next day!

Img credit: http://www.portfoliocollection.com/go/kingswaldenlodge (photo edited)
I can't believe that it takes only one night for convincing. Some of you might assume that it is one of those products that contain a long complicated list of ingredients, but absolutely not. There are only 3 ingredients which lessens your chance of getting irritations if you are prone to lots of things. Sometimes, simplicity is better since it can bring out the best out of the ingredients performance, especially when they complement each other so well like soul-mates. All the ingredients are native to Morocco and are at their most potent and purest form. Prickly Pear Seed or Barbara Fig Seed is extremely high in Essential Fatty Acids & Vitamin E to deliver one of the best anti-oxidants supplements for your skin, helpful to diminish fine lines and wrinkles while it does its magic to make you radiant! wonderful for dark circles too (talk about an eye treatment as well!). On the other hand, Argan is a nutty source of Vitamin E and is abundant in anti-oxidants to restore your skin to its absolute best as a result from environmental factors and tones down any inflammations. Lastly, Rose oil which symbolizes purity, love, and fragrant perfection.. what, should I explain more?

If you're looking for a wonderful anti-ageing serum (or not) with a simple powerful blend, this facial serum will worth your money. Although I must say that this did not provide me a substantial amount of hydration (one of the cons of being lightweight), but this blend still treats my skin like a queen. If you are already happy with your Argan or Prickly Pear Seed oil alone, try this one for a change, you won't regret it. I was fortunate to get a generous little sample of this (but a little goes a long way) and I am definitely IN once I finish out my other facial oils. Yes, totally, this should be on your holiday wishlist this year. Oh Munemi, since this one is called No.1 Nighttime Dream Youth serum, can there possibly be No.2 or a Day Time one in the works?



Have you tried MUN serum? Will YOU try? I hope this has tempted you enough. Get it from I Am Natural StoreSpirit Beauty Lounge, or MUN website

9/13/2013

An Etsy Find: Good4You, Q+A with Jes and a little giveaway

There's nothing that excites me most than getting my heart sparked up by those whose passion goes beyond what eyes could see. You must have discovered Good4You during your long hours of browsing Etsy (admit it, it keeps you glued to your seat right?). Owned by an inspirational woman, Jes, she creates all her handmade herbal salves, teas, bath & beauty products in Cataumet, MA-USA. She spends her time gathering wild-crafted herbal plants from abandoned fields to appreciate gifts of the earth. Looking at all the plants she has collected, the fields must be pretty heavenly. Also, not only Jes has a passion in herbalism, but she is quite the artist (check out her Tumblr and Orange Peel Project)! I just adore her. I don't think I have never been this pushed to get back into drawing again.. I miss my beloved charcoals and get my hands and apron dirty all over. That, and also my mum hysterically screaming from across the hallway to tell me it's time to have dinner while I'm losing myself in my black and white canvas. I would say one moment, please. Sometimes I forget the simple things in life could make me the happiest. 

 Click below to read more for Q+A with Jes and a little giveaway...

9/07/2013

Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence



To simply put it, this facial mist is quite the diva. It is boasting a surge of lightweight hydration that freshens you up and your skin without clogging the pores. Perfect to retrieve lost moisture when you're out in the day or when you're on a plane. If you've already tried Tata Harper skincare line, you should be familiar with her star ingredient Sodium Hyaluronate. The mist contains a high amount of it in order to stimulate your skin's own production of Hylaronic by 4x and also retains 4x of water in your deepest layer of the skin. Rose & Lavender Hydrosols are beautiful to revive your skin from environmental elements and Witch Hazel & Gotu Kola tones and refines the skin.  All the ingredients work synergistically to act like a surface humectant to further boost up the work of Sodium Hyaluronate. So? Dry and mature skin can benefit so much from this product and those with oily skin.. no fear, this can be your oil-free moisturizer instead.Spirit Demerson loves this as an all-in-one, cleanser-toner-moisturizer for a couple of days travelling!

The finish is slightly dewy but not at all sticky. I won't depend on this as a primer alone for my make up if you're only using it as a moisturizer, but spray this on top for a more fresh and radiant look! The gorgeous floral scent also complements the finish of this toner so well.. you will feel like a walking goddess with Tata Harper's classic feminine scent. I would like to imagine that I'm being transported into her farm in Vermont whenever I spray this fine mist. Can you feel that fresh cold air away from the humming city? :)

If you're looking for an anti-ageing toner, great for all skin types and any season, this one might be for you. My have mentioned that this helps in minimizing their pores, I actually notice that too..it re-balances my skin even when my face is slightly oily. Saying that, for a great toner, it is quite a splurge unless you jump into the big size -it costs much cheaper per ounce- unfortunately it's not that travel-friendly.

PS: Just to let you know that this is Tata re-invented her toner. While I love the ingredient list in her older version, I don't notice much difference in terms of efficacy but the ingredients used to be much more read-able.

Ingredients: water, rosa damascena flower water*, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower water*, leuconostoc ferment filtrate (radish root extract), hamamelis virgiana (witch hazel) distillate, caprylyl/capryl wheat bran/straw glycosides, sodium hyaluronate, beta vulgaris (beet) root, centalla asiatica extract (gotu kola)*, salix alba (willow) bark extract, oryza sativa (rice) extract*, hydrolyzed corn starch, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder*, fusel wheat bran/ straw glycosides, sodium cocoyl glutamate (derived from coconut), glyceryl caprylate (derived from fatty acids of corn, coconut and glycerin), sodium phytate (derived from rice bran), soybean peroxidase (derived from soy), superoxide dismutase (derived from horseradish root), polyglyceryl-5 oleate (naturally derived), essential oil blend clinical grade essential oils; citral, geraniol, benzyl benzoate, citronellol, limonene, linanlool 
*organic ingredients. 


9/05/2013

About A Book, The Honest Life by Jessica Alba



Moving to Australia, I was exposed to the awareness of healthy and safe ingredients for my body..  I am talking from food to the beauty products that I slather from head to toe. My brother, my dad and I all have sensitive skin -itchy skin and bumps is an everyday thing- but now that we've strive to eat healthier, eliminated some no-no food, our skin got a little bit better. It didn't occur to us, not only food, but environmental factors such as water, air, our daily activities, and also the cosmetics that we use.. we never know what's exactly around us. It's time to smart up, do things that minimize the effects from environmental stressors and start reading labels.

Overwhelmed.. overwhelmed. If only there was one book to guide me into green living.. so thank goodness for The Honest Life. It is somewhat comprehensive but an easy-to-read book to ingest. Truth sometimes hurts but it is being delivered softly, not the kind that scares us off or turn me back into a skeptical-being that I am. The book pretty much stresses on the importance of your well-being from the inside and what can be done to your home to make it more.. love-able. Lets jam-pack our pantries with fascinating spices, pure & simple whole grains that need no-brainer to make, and non-artificial, non-processed non-sense. Let's fill up our fridge with the fresh-est seasonal botanical produces from our local farmers. This is where some say 'organically' where possible, but truthfully, sometimes price is way over-the-top, so there are stuff like onions, cabbage, sweet potatoes which contain the lowest amount of pesticides. On an interesting note.. my friend and I are currently debating on some organic produce that can be more harmful due to mycotoxins and crops undergoing plant stress. Interesting what's going to come out of the study. click below to read more. 


9/01/2013

What I do Nightly Before I Sleep



I think it is absolutely essential to have a night routine, I know that it has helped me in a lot of ways. Having a biological clock - like when to sleep and when to wake up - sort of makes me look at myself as a battery. I need an off time to recharge. When done properly, I start off my day easy. Two parts of the routine that I prefer (but optional if there's no time) is to take a warm shower and then slather yourself with a scrumptious body oil (The Good stuff or Stroke of Luck) and also blend myself a green juice especially when I feel bloated from dinner. I blend up my kale or green spinach, celery, lemon, parsley, cucumber and green apple, it is seriously a refreshing drink and I always wake up feeling so refreshed and clean inside and out. I drink this up 45+ minutes before I sleep.

I want to share with you all my night routine that has always looked the same since ages ago..

1. Light up a candle. I love to set up the room before I do everything else. A subtle scent and a flickering light burning on the candle wick, you cannot beat that nice relaxing ambiance. It sends me off to a positive realm. My favorite brand is usually Glasshouse, but the one that I currently have is in the scent Lavender & Vanilla by the brand Le Desire. Honestly, it smells like an orange chocolate to me, it is so yummy. Pretty similar to the Lotus Wei range in 'Inspired' just less spicy. It puts me in a joyful mood but also soft at the same time.

2. Since candle scent takes a while to fill in the whole room, I take my time to brew some tea. I have so many kinds of tea (and yet I still finish them up pretty fast), I am loving English Tea Shop in "Calming" and "Immunity" at the moment. Their base is green tea and incorporates Ayuverdic knowledge, a fascinating choice if you're looking for a wellness tea. I then pour it into my favorite cup and let it cool down a bit. If I still have some Raw Cacao Balls in the fridge, I eat one now, he-he.

3. My night skincare routine = my favorite ritual! I still cleanse with my Sodashi clay cleanser in Calming, pat Intelligent Nutrients Eye Gel, tone with Sodashi Calming Skin Boost (or 2-3x a week with my sample of Modern Radiance Concentrate by LBF), apply a choice of serum/facial oil depending on how my skin feels.. (currently testing out Lina Hanson Face Serum, also a sample), and finally put my Sodashi Calm Skin Moisturizer on top if my skin is parched. My basic skincare routine is basically that, and I exfoliate with The Clean Dirt / Acure 2-3x a week and apply The Problem Solver 1x every week/2 weeks. Oh, and I also cleanse my feet before going to bed to feel extra clean.

4. All done, my skin is happy! Grab my cup of tea, my diary and a good book to read. At this stage, I check my phone for any last messages and then put it away to avoid any distraction! I set a goal to spend my time writing on my diary every single night. It's good to have something I can reflect back to, something to think about, to smile & laugh at, and maybe proud of. Sip my cup of tea. Read a book until I get sleepy. Gulp my cup of tea. Blow off my candle.

5. And off to sleep I go! :)




I know some people also love to mist their pillows to help them sleep better or slather yourself with a relaxing body oil from head to toe. Lotus Wei and Aromatherapy Personals offer a great range of body oils, mist, bath salts and roll-on to help you get your best-est night sleep. One other tip - whether you have trouble sleeping or not -, do some stretching or yoga as it takes your mind off of things and your body will benefit the same way too. Here, Esther Ekhart will guide you thoroughly from start to finish. (To be honest, I'm a lazy bum when it comes to starting, but once I actually start it's hard to stop!).

A simple 5 minute bed time yoga that you can do on your bed : 


or there's a 15 minutes long one too for dedicated people!



I am a nosy cat, tell me, what's your night routine like?