Attempting to Curl My Hair For the First Time with Panasonic Hair Styler

Monday, July 21, 2014

If you've been blogging for 5 years like I have, you tend to think, "Oh well, I've been there, done that, nothing new." But life just has a way of throwing curveballs at you! After over 25 years of not doing anything at all to my hair - I have what is called "virgin hair" in hairstylist/hair-fanatic parlance, I finally attempted to curl and style my own hair, all by my lonesome self! And guess what - I came out totally unscathed! I mean, I didn't even have a burn mark on my neck or anything! (Although I almost touched the hot plate of a hair straightener because it didn't look there you go, I'm really a hairstyling dummy. Thanks Yvonne for saving my fingers!)

I can hairstylist! Obviously, my hairstyling skills are not the best.

So where and what was that marvellous place where I got to attempt to give myself a more jazzy 'do DIY style? None other than the Singapore Blog Awards event - it was some sort of event for all the beauty blogger finalists to learn more about some of Panasonic's beauty tools. Now I was aware of Panasonic (duh, who hasn't heard of them?) but more in the context of them being a player in the electronics/semiconductor space, so this was definitely the first time I've thought of the brand in the context of beauty. And lo and behold, it was certainly impressive!

To read more, VISIT THIS LINK. I promise it's worth it! Thanks!

Parabens, Safety, Cancer, and Cosmetics: What does the Science say?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Parabens - are they safe or not? You've seen them in ingredients lists - methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben are the most commonly used ones in cosmetics and skincare, but there are a bunch of others, such as isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben and so on. You've also probably heard that they are unsafe, and can cause cancer (in particular breast cancer) because they are endocrine disruptors. But are they really unsafe? What does the science say, beyond the hype? I've actually touched on the topic before, but it was in the comments section of this post from last year, in response to a reader's question about parabens in cosmetics. Although I had initially intended to only answer that reader's question (yes, that super long 4-comments-long answer was just for one reader), I seem to get hits for "parabens" leading to that post. Since the main body of that post is actually a skincare review, and people may not read the comments, I thought it would be good for me to create a separate post for it, so that it is easier for them to access the information directly without having to scroll through all the comments. I've also expanded my responses, since now I'm no longer constrained by Blogger's comment length limit - take that, Blogger comments!

Parabens - safe or not? Given the rage on the Internetz, you'd think they were a major source of slow, painful deaths.

So. let's cut to the chase. The original reader comment was as follows:
"I...was wondering whether you knew more about the parabens controversy. I've always wondered if all parabens are cancerous and bad for you, or is that just misinformation. Is there a reason why beauty products use them so often, maybe for certain properties and purposes it serves?"

So there are actually three broad parts to this question:
1. Are parabens safe?
2. If they are safe, why are they so controversial? Where does the hype come from?
3. If there is so much hype about them being bad, why are they still commonly used?

Molecular structure of some common parabens (Image source)

With that, I thought this post would provide a more systematic way of answering these questions, and gathering all my sources in one place, so those three questions are how I will tackle the question. I've definitely heard all about the paraben controversy, and to be honest, I've found there is quite a bit of misinformation, half-truths, and fearmongering out there. The truth is, if you look at the amount if hoopla online in certain parts of the Internetz, versus the actual scientific data on parabens, you'll find that there is very little to justify the hoopla. But enough of my talking - let's dive into the analysis now! Just be warned: this is a very, very long post, so you better buckle yourself in!

MUFE Artisan Brush Collection: Review and Comparisons

Sunday, July 13, 2014

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MUFE's Artisan Brush Collection has been quite well-received, with some brushes already sold out following its first launch in Singapore. I know I've blogged about two of the brushes, the MUFE Buffer Blush Brush #152 and Medium Highlighter Brush #154 before, but I thought since I've gotten more brushes since then, I thought I'd do a quick comparison between those brushes I have and existing brushes from other brands.

MUFE Artisan Brush Collection: Proving to be very popular!

The brushes I have, in addition to the Buffer Blush Brush #152 and Medium Highlighter Brush #154, are the Lip Brush with Cap #304, the Double-Ended Sculpting Brush #158, the Round Shader Brush Small #210, the Body Kabuki #414, and the Double-Ended Eyelash and Eyebrow Brush #274.

MUFE Artisan Brushes 1
My little collection of MUFE brushes.

So without further ado, let's start with the comparisons!

Singapore Blog Awards 2014 Best Beauty Blog: I'm a Finalist, and You Can Vote For Me (And Win Something For Yourself)!

Monday, July 7, 2014


I've been blogging for nearly 5 years now, and after so long, I sometimes feel like as far as my blogging goes, I've probably been there and done that. But sometimes life still has surprises up its sleeve! Turns out, yours truly is a finalist for Best Beauty Blog at Singapore Blog Awards 2014! The final part is actually voting, and you can actually vote for me (hopefully?) here, at this site.

Now this is totally 101% unexpected, because simply put - I've never viewed my own blog as that great, and I'm not really the "pretty/popular/pictorial" type of beauty blogger (you know, my posts are full of text and boring ingredients geekery and other boring TL;DR stuff). So although I knew I was nominated, I didn't expect to go anywhere given that I was just one 1 of over 50 nominations. Honestly. So when I found out that I was one of the finalists, I was basically like all of these faces put together:

First, the "OMG I'm so shocked!"

Then the "OMG I'm can't believe it! Squeeee!"

Then the "OMG I'm so happy! Yay!"

And finally the "OMG this can't be real!"

So basically that's what it feels like on this end right now. The next stage is voting - and this part is open to everyone, including you! Yay! If you can click here and vote for me, that would be the bee's knees. There's also a Lucky Voters’ Contest going on, so everytime you vote (you get to vote once per day!) you get an extra entry into the lucky draw. So yes, you could win something for yourself too!

But with that excitement aside, I have to say, I'm always ambivalent about voting as a means of winning contests. While democracy is one of the better forms of governance out there, and while certainly decision-making should incorporate the views of everyone as far as is practical, sometimes, voting tends to degenerate into a case of pandering to the lowest common denominator, which in turn tends to result in things like the Kardashians, Snooki, and Justin Bieber. And, personally, I don't really like shilling: "PLEASE GO VOTE FOR ME, EVERYONE, OKAY?" I mean, on a personal level it's not really my style, and that's not why I blog in the first place. I blog for a variety of reasons - as an outlet for my love of writing, and my interest in beauty products and the science behind them - but not for self-promotion or to seek celebrity fame. So it just doesn't sit well with me to do any sort of "PLZ VOTE PLZ PLZ PLZ" thing. But yet, it is a popular method to determine the outcome of contests over here, so here we are. If you've been a longtime but silent reader (I know there are those of you!), or if my blog is a newly-discovered one to you, or if you've liked my ingredients geekery, or any of my posts on Asian undertones, makeup, or skincare, and if you feel like it, then please know that your vote means a lot to me. At the end of the day, beyond indulging my own interests in writing and beauty, I also blog because I love interacting with my readers and other beauty bloggers, and I'm fortunate that I've been able to do this for nearly 5 years now!

Stuff I Actually Use Up! More Empties of Skincare, Makeup, and Nail Products!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Ooh, what do we have here? More empties! And boy, am I excited to show you these - since my last empties post some months back, I've been a good beauty blogger and have actually used up stuff in my stash! And of course this means I have to tell you guys all about it, and do a quick summary of how the products have worked for me! As you might be able to guess, though, chances are, if I used it up, it probably did a pretty good job. So here's what I've used up!

Look ma, so many empties! These include skincare, makeup, and nail products. Yay!

Yes, look at that - it's a whole bunch of products covering makeup, skincare, and nails! Without further ado, let's dive straight into them, shall we?

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash Review and Ingredients Analysis

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Kiehl's iconic Calendula Herbal Extract Toner now has a new friend - the Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash! This is a flanker to the original toner, and as you might imagine, also boasts the presence of Calendula Flower Extract, just like the original. So, as you can imagine, this is a pretty hotly-anticipated product!

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash: The latest product with calendula!

I was excited to see how this would perform - after all, the Calendula Herbal Extract Toner is easily one of Kiehl's most well-recognized products, complete with calendula flowers inside the bottle. The Kiehl's Dalendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash unfortunately doesn't have calendula flowers inside, but it does happen to have quite a few other traits to make it a welcome addition to your bathroom cabinet - starting right with the ingredients list.

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner Review and Swatches: Really Worth the Hype?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Benefit's latest eyeliner, the They're Real! Push Up Liner, has finally launched, and you can bet the hype about this "lash-hugging gel liner pen" (Benefit's words) has been nothing short of craazy. The hype for the They're Real Eyeliner is probably one of the most I've seen for a recently launched Benefit product. Everyone is talking about it and raving about it, and I just had to check out the hype!

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner: Definitely Benefit's most hyped product to date!

I happened to be travelling to Turkey (you would have seen some of my travel photos on Instagram) while the hype was building up, and when I came back to Singapore, the next thing you know, everyone and their mothers were talking about it! And, the They're Real Eyeliner just launched yesterday, so I thought since I had the product on hand, I should do a review too, and see if it's really worth the hype.

Benefit Theyre Real Push Up Liner 1
Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner: Claims to help you get gorgeously-lined eyes in a jiffy.

The hype generated comes from lots of things - from the unique "Accuflex" tip that the pen nib has, to the claims that it is waterproof, smudgeproof, and long wearing. The unique shape of the They're Real! Eyeliner pen is supposed to allow us girls who have trouble lining their eyes to finally line our peepers like a pro. Well, a claim like this is best tested against the hardest-to-line type of eyes, and yours truly, with my small, flat, contour-less eyes, and what I like to call a hooded lashline (that Asian fold of skin that hangs over your lashes and makes your eyeliner "disappear" once you open your eyes - you girls will know what I mean!), thought that there would be no better guinea pig than me.

Benefit Theyre Real Push Up Liner Tip
The crux of one of the claims of Benefit's They're Real Push Up Liner: the Accuflex tip.

So I couldn't wait to try this out, and see if it indeed lived up to the hype of making my eyes prettier more easily and quickly!


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