M.A.C Does Not Disappoint, Their Lip Varnishes are Truly Glossy & Juicy Just Like They Claim!

The M.A.C Versicolour Varnish collection was launch back in spring this year. Lip stains are a big thing in Asia, South Korea especially – every girl from pretty much 15 to 65, that’s right, rocks perfectly coloured lips on the street of Seoul! Lips stain can be found in every colour imaginable and in every form possible – balm, stick, gloss, oil and tattoo, see my previous post on lip tints & tattoos here. When I first moved to Hong Kong a couple of years back I picked up on those amazing all day busy girl proof stains and wasn’t in a hurry to try the M.A.C ones. Boy was I wrong.

Since I’ve pick up the Peach Aflush a couple of weeks ago, I’m absolutely in love with it! M.A.C does not disappoint, this lip varnish is truly glossy & juicy like in they claim. It usually take me a few application with any new makeup products to learn how to make the most of it, but with this stain, it was love at first application. Well my brush did pick up a lot of product and the colours are quite pigmented, but that was my only minor “struggle”.

When applied it starts like a none sticky gloss that also moisturises your lips. As you go through the day the shine wears off to retain a satin sheer that last all day! I’ve been consistently wearing it for the past few days and I’ve received so many complements on it!

Love Love Love!

You can find all the colours here

-xoxo-

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The Master Cleanse, Why I Love it

Often referred to as the Lemon Detox, the Master Cleanse is somewhat very controversial. My post Cayenne Pepper Lemon Detox – Get Your Beachbody Ready was very popular so I decided to write this follow up to clarify on some points.

The original detox program called Master Cleanse was introduced by Stanley Burroughs (purchase publication here) in 1940s. The concept is quite simple: the cleanse help you flush out toxins to improve overall health. The controversy comes from the fact that Burroughs claimed the juice diet cured a number of diseases, which it did not.

The diet plan, although does not cure for a lot of diseases is a great detox to achieve better health and rapid weight loss. Many celebrities like Beyoncé, Demi Moore, Angelina Jolie and many more have endorsed its effectiveness.

The cleanse consist of a 10 days (can be longer up to 14 days depending on your needs) lemon juice diet – made with fresh lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. There is also a relaxed version here. I have done this diet 5 times over a period of many years and know my body needs pretty well. My lifestyle is for the most of the time pretty healthy, and I’m happy with my weight. I love this cleanse because it re-energises me and clears my skin. I enjoy the quick couple of kilos loss, but I always regain those within the following couple of months. I recommend it to everyone who feel like they want to realign themselves for healthier habits, or feel like they need to flush some toxins. The 5 times I have done it was always after a high stress period in my life where I felt I needed to take sometimes to focus on myself – yes life, careers, everything else, can be very stressful, and I will opt for the easy option when I’m tired and this over a prolong period of times makes me feel every more tired and from here it’s a vicious cycle (a lot of us knows this tool well unfortunately).

I have done the full 10 cleanse, but I did feel for myself that past the 8th day my energy level dropped, and the cleanse was not productive anymore. So I came up with my own version of a quick detox that can easily fit in a busy schedule [see my post on]. I’m very transparent with my friends about the possible side effects when recommending this regime, and advise them to be aware of your body – how you feel physically. It’s not for everyone and before going to stock up on 10 days worth of fresh lemons, my advise would be to try the cleanse for a couple of days and see for yourself (see my lighter version of this cleanse here).

Obviously be smart about this cleanse. Like any major change in diet, be aware of your body. If you have prior medical conditions, do consult your doctor and if you feel too light headed, ill or extreme fatigue, you want to stop this program. I hope I was able to bring additional clarifications and please do not hesitate to ask me any questions in the comments below 🙂

-xoxo-

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The Perfect Tan Hack – Because It’s Hard Work

My friend pointed out how pale I am a few weeks back. For reference I’m currently 3 foundation shades darker than my winter foundation, in fact I’m using a medium dark bb cream, because the last time I was able to achieve a darker tan was years ago. So you can imagine how I got a little… dismayed? All kind of thoughts were going through my mind: I’ve never worked so hard on my tan (I was on the beach or on a boat every single not rainy weekend), and the results are obviously not impressive. It was pretty clear, I needed some help.

The first easy fix solution is getting a spray tan, considering my sun exposure hours, a sun bed is obviously not what I needed. However we’ve all heard or worse witnessed spray tan gone wrong, so I did some research. After a few late night spend googling and reading product reviews I’ve settled on 6 self tan products (it’s still quite a lot i couldn’t make up my mind, it’s was 3 body product and 3 for face).

loved 2 of them:

(I’m only reviewing the 2 products that I love and worked for me, as I believe the other self-tanning lotions and products I tried were also good, but the 2 below just worked better for me. Also different skin reacts to differently to specific formulas, therefore I do not want dwell on the other very quality products that I’m going to pass on to friends 🙂

Note that I’ve tried all the lotions at least 1 time and stop immediately if I didn’t find it efficient or gave uneven marks the next day. I’ve then waited around 1 week to try the next product on.

CLARINS Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster (face)

  • I cannot begin to say how much I love this product. It come in a small convenient cylinder bottle (especially for travel) and you simply mix it to your moisturiser. The label says 1 to 3 drops, but obviously you can adjust it to your needs. I used it for face, neck and eventually upper body too (Note they do have a Glow Booster for Body too, but I couldn’t try everything this time and decided to go for the Isle of Paradise drops) 1 drop is barely noticeable, I’ve increased it to 5 drops during my holidays.
  • Because it’s mixed with your usual moisturiser, there are less risk of breaking out especially for sensitive skin like mine. And no uneven patches. I’ve mixed 1 drop with my serum and it worked like a charm too!
  • It’s a small bottle, it’s not given, but a little goes a long way, I’ve been squeezing it everywhere and my friend has been using it too and we haven’t used even 1/4.

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops – Medium

  • This is another mixed with your moisturiser type of self tan, but it comes in a number of range of tanning shades: light, medium, dark.
  • Note that this Vegan brand has also the self tan water and a mousse. I’ve read a few reviews and decided to go with the drops, which I was very happy with.
  • I’ve been using it on my legs mainly and I love it! It works like the Clarins glow booster, but it’s a bit stronger and you get more product for less!
  • The thing I love about this is that I’ve been mixing it with my sunscreen (YES!) and it really accelerates the darkening process.
  • one last thing, don’t forget to use a mitt!

Let me know what’s your perfect tan hack I should try!

-xoxo-

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Bad Tan Lines? Here’s How To Get Rid of Them Faster

Despite applying sunscreen and re-applying a layer every hour I still got burned and pretty bad on my back. All that snorkeling under direct sun was unforgiving. Swimming with sea turtles and chilling with a family of Nemos was totally worth it, but now it’s time to get right of those back and butt tan lines and work on that beach glow!

If you’re reading this then you probably don’t want to hear about prevention, because like me you’re ready to hit the beach again, and don’t want to be limited to that same swimsuit you got those deep tan lines… Here’s how you can accelerate those those tan lines fading:

  1. Exfoliate. Regular exfoliation will remover the layers of dead cells and make space for new cells. You can easily find local natural ingredients at your supermarket and market your own exfoliants – here are 3 DIY recipe for lip scrubs, but you can increase the quantities to make a body version! 😀
  2. Moisturise. With tanning damages, affected areas of the skin are dry and needs moisturising, especially after exfoliating, it’s important to provide plenty of nutrients for your skin to keep it’s healthy texture and regenerate. Natural moisturisers like almond oil, coconut oil and Aloe Vera are the best! I like to apply Aloe Vera, wait 10 mins until your skin absorbed all the moisture and layer natural essential oils on top!
  3. Drink water and have a healthy diet. We all know vitamin A, C and E are just amazing for the skin! So Make sure you eat plenty of food that will help your skin regenerate from the inside! Food high in vitamin A includes carrot, sweet potato, and kale. Kiwi, strawberry and citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and make sure you get some almonds, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts in your tray mix, for your vitamin E.

Make sure you stick to those and apply plenty of sunscreen on the affected areas and you’ll be ready in no time to enjoy the newly purchased bikinis for the season!

– xoxo –

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I Traded All My Skin Care Products for Aloe Vera for a Week and It Was Effing Refreshing!

How this came about?

Well like an amateur I only applied sunscreen on my face and neck and forgot to extend it to other parts of my body, and stayed in the sun for a very long time between 11 am and 4 pm! No need to describe the state of my skin at the end of that day. As I was generously layering aloe vera gel on my arms and part of my neck which was not properly covered, I thought how moisturizing and soothing this was. And this is all Natural (at least 95% of it)! So I thought what if I try as my only skin care for a week?

Note: I have mixed, and oily skin; aloe vera would probably be better used as a base with your usual last step moisturizer.

What did I do for a week?

I used only aloe vera on my face and neck (it goes without say cleaned skin) twice a day – night and morning. For dryer patch area I waited until the gel was absorbed and applied a second layer. I still wore light makeup – bb cream and light mineral-based blush.

What did I get in return?

The first couple of days my T zone were much less oily than before, and I felt like my skin was lighter and breathing (by lighter I mean not clogged and overloaded with product, like when you just came out of a sauna:).

I had my reservations about the dry patches on my chin and lower cheeks but kept to my week regime. Surprisingly after the week, the drier part actually evened out and was much closer to normal skin.

Overall my skin actually evened out, the oily T zone calmed down with sebum overproduction, and the dry areas less tight and the redness and itchiness were gone! Really not bad for a USD7 per jar skin care!

My take?

This past week has been sooo effing refreshing! My skin feels plumped and breathable for the first time in a very long while. I decided to keep the regime for the summer for as a night care. As for my day care, I stopped using all moisturizers and only kept the serums.

I used the Dermal Korea 95% Aleo Vera Gel you can find it on Amazon for approximately US$7.5, but there are as many as great alternatives for around the same price!

Let me know what you think!

– xoxo –

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March Beauty Coup de Coeur – Eye Mask For A Lushy Look

I pulled quite a number of consecutive late nights at the office and it seemed to have left a permanent tired look on me. Desperate for a solution that will give me that just out of bed fresh grad gaze again I picked up the Eye Contour Mask from Sisleyor can I say their very competent sales associate picked me up when I was casually strolling around their shop, and I must say: Thank god for that!

Why I love this mask so much:

  • No need to wash – Yes that’s right! Leave for 10 mins, wipe off and you’re good to go!
  • The gel mask leaves the skin around your eyes smooth and you can easily top up with your face cream and makeup directly, which really, gives me no excuse not to use it!

The Sisley shop is very happy to hand a sample for you to try! Let me know what you think! I’ve been recommending this to all of my colleagues (female and male! That’s right) and all of them absolutely love it! The only downsides are that you should only use it 2-3 times a week (if it was for me I would use it every day!) and it’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way!

– xoxo –

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3 DIY Organic Lip Scrubs For A Smooth Pout!

Colorful lips are a must accessory this spring! Say goodbye to chappy get your lips smooth and pout ready with those 3 simple homemade lip scrub recipes!

Brown Sugar Honey Pout

  • 1 tablespoon of organic brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of organic honey
  • A few drops of an organic oil of your choice (my fav is grapefruit!)

Mix all 3 ingredients together until you get a paste (you can add some brown sugar if it’s too liquid). Before applying on your lips, hold a warm cloth on your lips for a couple of minutes to moist and soften those dry lips. Cover your lips with the fresh scrub, wait a couple of minutes, then gently scrub and wash off!

Coconut Sugar Lips

  • 1 tablespoon of soft organic coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of organic coconut sugar (or brown sugar if you can’t find it)
  • 1 teaspoon of organic honey

Mix all 3 ingredients together, apply on your lips and gently massage for a few minutes. Rince off for smooth pout!

Sweet Peppermint Kiss

  • 1 tablespoon of soft organic coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of organic honey
  • 1 tablespoon of organic sugar
  • 1 crushed peppermint
  • A few drops of organic peppermint oil

Make sure you crush the peppermint well – the trick is to put the peppermint in a paper bag or in an organic tea bag, then use a pastry roller to gently tap on it. Mix the peppermint powder with your sugar then add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Gently massage the mixture on your lips. Can you feel the freshness of every pout?

Share with me your favorite DIY lip scrubs!

– xoxo –

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Cayenne Pepper Lemon Detox – Get Your Beachbody Ready!

It’s March ladies, Beachbody season is coming fast! If you’re like me and have been holding on to the little Christmas and New Years party weight until spring, then this lighter version of the Master Cleanse is perfect to kick-start your healthy lifestyle again!

I’m quite familiar with the Master Cleanse and have done it a number of times over the past years, and it works. There are a few reasons why I’ve come up with a lighter version of this formula, that I do on a seasonal basis. I like this modified detox regime because:

  • I don’t have to worry about losing muscle mass;
  • I Can maintain my daily activity without feeling a lack of energy;
  • It can be easily incorporated into my busy work schedule.

*Note that the above are things I have personally experienced when I was on the Master Cleanse. Everyone might experience slightly different experiences based on your existing health conditions and how one eased in the Cleanse.

The recipe (for 1 unit intake)

  • Half a lemon’s juice (freshly squeezed), ~ 2 tablespoons +
  • 2 tablespoons of Grade A maple syrup +
  • A dash of Cayenne pepper powder ~ 1/5 of a teaspoon +
  • 120 ml of purified spring water.

The detox lasts in total 7 days.

Day 1 & 2: Easing In

This is very very, did I say very? important to the detox! Before starting the cayenne pepper lemon detox, the body needs to be prepared. 2 days prior to the detox, remove all processed food intake. On the first day, I replace my meals with fresh juices (with no added sugars), soups, congee and cooked vegetables. The second day I try to limit my intake to only lighter soups (broth and fresh fruit juices).

Day 3 & 4: Detox

For those 2 days (you can increase this up to 10 days but from personal experience I wouldn’t recommend more than 7 days) , stick to only drinking the above recipe, you can have up to 12 unit intakes per day. I like to schedule those 2 days on weekend days so it’s easier 🙂

Day 5 & 6: Easing Out

You’re body probably feeling much freer by now, and probably pretty proud (and you should be, give yourself a little clap!), but just hold off on the sushi for another couple of days! Same as easing in, on the first day introduce fresh juices and light soups. then you can add some solid food like vegetables and fruits on the second.

You can repeat this fairly often, do give yourself at least week break in between (make sure you’re having a healthy and sensible diet). You’d be surprised at the amount of waste you’re carrying in your body. Each time I personally loose around 1 to 1.5 kilos, but some of my friends have experienced slightly more!

Would love to hear about your detox experience!

– xoxo –

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Faux Fur, Cream Makeup & Roll-necks – Surviving Fashion When It’s Effing Cold

Growing up in Montreal Canada, I’m a big fan of the holiday season, winter sports, and all that white stuff falling from the skies. When a arrive in Hong Kong I told myself “this is nothing compared to the sometimes -25 degrees you’ve known”. I was particularly excited to finally be able to trade out my puffy goose for lighter winter fashion Vogue style. Well, I was almost right.

You see in Canada we love our heating and Montreal and Toronto are equipped with a good network of undergrounds that allows you to pretty much stay in all day. So you can rock a light cotton silk cardigan from COS or a fine knit merino wool roll-neck top with leather leggings under your artic ready winter coat. In Hong Kong and Taipei, it’s a bit of a different story. You do get your fashionably layered wool with an oversized scarf. And if you are a die-hard fashionista, you even get to finish that outfit with a pair of gorgeous open toe platforms. It’s like having 4 months of autumn! Every fashion enthusiast dream!

The challenge is really once you get to your office. Hong Kongese people love their AC and even in winter, it’s on. The morning walk+MRT accumulated warmth quickly fades, and you find yourself thinking about that duvet of a coat you once were just too eager to retire.

So here’s my survival kit for winter – good for Canadian and Hong Kongese lifestyle!

The Roll-necks, or turtlenecks

Well well, it took me quite some convincing to adopt them in my wardrobe. You see I have a pretty round and square face with big cheeks, so I need all the neck I can get – V-necks all my all time best friends. I must say for the autumn and winter season a light knit rollneck or an oversized one just ads a touch of sophistication – paired with a pair of ripped jeans or with stacking bracelets. The roll-neck makes it also super easy to layer colorful cardigans and jackets at the office (for Asia).

P.S. If you still feel insecure about not having Karlie Kloss’s perfect neck, you can pair it with doubled up pearls or a long pendant necklace.

Faux Fur

I love love love faux fur! It’s fun, it’s big, it’s fluffy, it’s so warm and people always want to hug me! Zara did have been making those massive faux fur scarf in all colors for a few fall/winter seasons now. It’s just so easy and effortless to wear, and it transforms any normal wool coat into a wow fashion outfits! For the office girl, it becomes easily a discrete blanket! You really need one in your life!

Cream Makeup

It seems like the last thing you want to add to your beauty regime when you have oily skin like me? Believe me, when I say you need to go buy it and try it for winter (no matter your skin type). One of the first misconceptions about cream-based makeup is that it will be heavy for oily skin and add unnecessary moisture. Well, that’s only part of the story.

First, you need to know what’s the difference between cream-based product and liquid-based product (this did take me all my adult life to understand). Cream based products leave a smooth hydrated finish, and it can be either satin or matte (yes matte). It tends to be an easier option to apply on for dry skin, but this doesn’t mean that it’s will over moisturize oily skin type. Ultimately it’s not only the makeup but also your skin care that needs some winter tweaking (the perfect excuse to go beauty shopping :P).

During the summer I tend to only use a bb cream or cc cream, which is already very moisturizing. Naturally in the winter paired with a more protecting moisturizer, seems like overdoing it, however contrary to what I’ve always believed depending on the product, a creamy foundation can be much lighter than a bb cream. In addition, it blends like a charm with cream blushes and eyeshadows! I picked up the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in 2 shades – porcelain ivory and light beige, simply because it’s got good reviews and it’s not a bank breaker, perfect for the septic oily skin dive for a trial!

What do you think of my top 3 winter survival tips? Tell me what are your winter fashion beauty tips!

– xoxo –

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Lip Tints & Tattoos – I Must Be The Last Girl Who Tried These

So I picked up the Kissable Lip by SkinAZ of those on my flight to Singapore (Yes… on the plane. If you ever wondered who purchases duty-free during a flight – as it’s pretty much the most inconvenient thing to do, ever, well I’m guilty). I got 3 colors: Lovely Pink, Sexy Red, Sweet Wine, and their glittery gloss (to be paired with the lip tint or tattoos, like some call it).

The instruction reads to apply the glossy stuff on your cleaned lips, wait for 10 – 15 minutes, then peel off gently and that’s it! (I must admit I love my lipsticks and I am very loyal to brands and products I’ve long mastered, so it actually took me forever – over a month – to “find the time” to try my new makeup acquisitions). So I’ve finally tried those popular lip tints/tattoos praised all over the internet! Yay! Here are my thoughts on this very fun product:

At first, the colors looked very bright and I was a bit concerned but don’t worry (when it’s peeled off) it comes out a lot lighter. The application was a bit tricky: the gloss is quite thick & sticky and dries really fast. So it’s a little bit of a challenge getting a smooth lip line. I also wasn’t sure if the thickness affected the end result color, so I tried as much as possible to touch up evenly (the answer is not really). The hardest part was the wait, holding my lips apart for 10 minutes seemed like an eternity. Peeling the dried gloss off was easier than I thought and exfoliating – as it pulls off dry skins as well (if it’s really cold and your lips are really chapped, then you might want to be careful, the last thing we want is bloody lips). The product leaves a bright fun color on and you can top it up with any gloss!

The tint/tattoo colors was a bit pinkish, while I was expecting red. The wine color also came out lighter than expected. I tried going through the process one more time (in a row) to get a deeper color and it did work! Note that you can pair it with a tinted gloss to enhance the color!

The color did last the whole day, however, it did come off a bit with the gloss and in the shower. Overall I had a lot of fun with this product and will definitely become part of my beauty routine for the coming up hot HK summer season!

– xoxo –

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