I'm kind of obsessed with beauty products lately, and the fact that you can find oodles of product reviews on the internet; what a wonderful place to be. Some new products and thoughts that have crossed my face and mind respectively:
BareMinerals SPF15 Matte Foundation in Medium Beige: After warnings from MizzShopaholic Michelle and a bad experience using another brand's mineral makeup, I was kind of scared to try this, but Susan had invited us to the launch event and we ended up getting a bunch of products to try. But after being attacked by an acne fairy a little while back I was seeing a derm anyway, so I decided to risk it. It's only my face, anyway. And can I say... I AM CONVERTED. The coverage is sheer enough that it really does seem like I'm not wearing anything at all, but thick enough to hide blemishes and scars, especially if you base up, which I do with Somme Institute's Treat & Tint in Medium. More importantly, it's fun to apply -- you dip your brush in and just swirl it all over your face. For areas that require more coverage, dip and swirl more.
My at-home manis now pretty much consist of a rotation of these three colours in various permutations: Jessica's Summer of Love neon yellow, Essie's Sand Tropez nude; and OPI's Your Royal Shineness chrome, the closest to Minx I could find at Cher2 in Causeway Bay. (I was looking for China Glaze's Millenium, which seems even more metallic and reflective and foil-y, but they didn't seem to have it -- I later found out that fellow mani-maniac Michelle Tong got it at the Central branch). Top is Seche Vite; base is Nail Tek ridge filler, which can double as a matte top coat, a tip I got from the Cher2 staff, which is where the Geeks get all nail stash.
Aromatherapy Associates had sent over this awesome-smelling Revive Body Gel. Of course it's awesome smelling; look at the brand name. It's basically a summer shaping gel, which you rub over your wobbly bits with a self-administered firming massage. It boosts circulation and gets your fat-burning mechanisms going, I suppose -- which also makes it great for application on long-haul flights to prevent DVT if you'd rather lube up your lazy legs than actually get up and, like, you know, walk or something. I started using it at the beginning of the summer and I feel noticeably firmer, but bear in mind that in order to combat le fat I gained this year, I've been wakeboarding once or twice a week, gymming up to three times a week, and/or yogaing once. It makes me sound so motivated, which I am. Not fitting into any of your clothes anymore will have that effect on a person. But who knows, maybe the gel is helping; I'm no scientist but it smells and feels good, so why not?
Masks are like a human's greatest indulgence. I mean, just think about it. This is super-expensive gunk and you just... put on top of your face. And then you just wash it all off. I used to think foie gras was a great indulgence, but you eat foie gras, you don't put it on top of your skin for 10 minutes until it's melty and goopy and then throw it away. I LOVE MASKS. I'm in the sun all the freaking time and I used to be a tanning junkie too, so I need them to not grow prematurely raisin.
Aromatherapy Associates Overnight Repair Mask: It's basically a glorified lotion -- you put it on for two hours or overnight and wash off in the morning, which you do in the morning anyway. Because sometimes it's too tiring to have to time a mask and wash your face in 10 minutes time. Much easier to just leave it on forever. A lot of other masks do say you can leave them on indefinitely after wiping off excess, but I never do, because I just don't always trust the ingredients to stop working after a certain amount of time and I don't want to clog my pores. Makes no sense, I know.
MTM Custom Blended Hydrating Mineral Mask, Biotherm Aquasource Non-stop Emergency Hydration Mask, Fresh Rose Face Mask: I rotate between these three moisturizing masks. MTM is a super complexion plumper that takes a little longer to work. Biotherm is a creamy one that goes on for a relatively short 10 minutes but is kind of gunky so a bit of a pain to wash off, but it does a reasonably good job of injecting moisture, so the pros outweigh the cons. Fresh is a short-and-sweet treatment and smells like joy in a jar thanks to real rose petals embedded in the jelly-like substance, but is more just soothing than super hydrating -- feels like you'd need to use it every other day to see any real improvement in skin moisture, but I still like it as a pick-me-up. When your skin is sensitive, it may sting a bit.
Shiseido's UV White Whitening Mask: Goes on clear and goopy but drys and then you peel it off, presumably with some of the skin cells that are pigmenting your skin and making it splotchy. I know they say that peel-off masks stretch out your skin during the peeling-off, but they are FUN. And if beauty isn't fun, then it's not worth doing.
Bulgari Masque Precieux Intensive Regenerating Mask: This is also fun, but in a different way. It comes with a little scooper because when you open the pot, the top layer reacts with air and becomes souffle-like -- you can actually see air bubbles so it looks like a bitten-off Aero chocolate bar. Use the scooper to apply hunks of it onto your face, and then once you spread it out over the surface, it's more like a really thick cream. Afterwards, your skin is firmer, smoother, whiter, moister... everything good that it should and could be. The reason? This jar is friggin' expensive, because it contains crazy stuff like liquefied precious stones. We're not talking CZs, I mean sapphire, malachite, tourmaline and citrine. Crazy.
This was a long post, but hopefully useful to someone somewhere out there. All products, with the exception of the Shiseido mask and the nail polish, were provided by the respective brands for trial purposes.