June 30, 2013

our first home grown oregano harvest

If I had to name one gene I did not inherit from my dad, it would have to be the green thumb gene. It's a known fact on my side of the family that by sixteen, I am most definitely capable of turning a cactus homicidal ... three times. 

Now that I am thirty something, I like to think I am wiser when it comes to plants so I decided to try my hands at herb gardening and after six months of watering and pruning, I managed to harvest my very first bunch of home grown oregano { ... pat on shoulders}.


It's not a huge bunch and it's not the juiciest nor is it the prettiest but it's enough to tie the husband and I over until out next harvest, provided I have not "accidentally murdered" the poor thing first. 

Our home grown oregano harvest is now drying in the oven; fan forced at 50 degrees Celsius and should be done ... well, when it's done. It's a first for me so I'm just going to play it by ear.

My next "Endeavor Not To Kill" herb will be the rosemary and basil - wish me luck!

June 28, 2013

poppies to brighten up your weekend

The skies have finally cleared ... but unfortunately, Mr. Flu and his band of merry viruses have moved in with me so I've been kept busy catering to their every whim and fancy. On the flip side, I've been keeping myself busy adding some pretty bright coloured poppies to the house to cheer things up, courtesy of and in my opinion a DIY goddess, Lia Griffith.

IMAGE CREDIT LIA GRIFFITH

I've been following her work for a few years now and her paper flowers, especially the poppies and ranunculus are my absolute favourite. Click here to view her post on how to make these beautiful poppies and while you're there, do take a look around and be utterly inspired ... you'll love it, I promise.

Happy weekend!

June 25, 2013

decléor hydra floral anti-pollution flower nectar moisturizing cream

In the haze of things, I figured that today would be a good day to review the Decléor Hydra Floral Anti-Pollution Flower Nectar Moisturising Cream {50ml nrp RM98} which I received in the June edition of VanityTrove Malaysia {Thanks again, Valerie!}

Initiated by a team comprising of a beautician, a doctor, a shiatsu teacher, an aromatherapist and physiotherapist, Decléor is a brand that is aromatherapy based. Part of the Hydra Floral range which was formulated especially for those with dry, dehydrated and dull skin, the Flower Nectar Moisturizing Cream is a new-generation moisturizer. It supposedly features a "drip-feed" hydrating system that is reinforced by aquaporin technology with true "water channels" that is combined with an anti-pollution plant active ingredient.


I know ... I know ... it was another "huh?" moment for me too but to sum it all up, the Decléor Hydra Floral Anti-Pollution Flower Nectar Moisturising Cream is suppose to be able to relax the skin, quench its thirst and protect against pollution. I think it's a very apt moisturizer to use in the next few days to come given the state of our nation which is covered in a throat-hacking and lung-murdering shroud of haze.

So ... having said all that, did it work for me?




I've been using this particular moisturizer for about a week now but only as part of my night time routine as I find the texture too creamy which equates to greasy for me. It takes a while to absorb too so it's definitely not something I'd use during the day.


However, once absorbed, I find that it kept my skin hydrated throughout the night which is important to me because I sleep with air-conditioning. The morning after finds me without redness or a film of grease on my face. I also didn't break out in the last few nights I've been using it so I'm giving the formula a thumbs up for hydration and relaxing the skin. You also don't need a huge dollop - a kacang dhal size was more than enough for me so I'm also giving it a thumbs up for that too.

The one thing that I am not overly keen about is the smell of the product which I find too strong for my senses. The fragrance in this moisturizer took about an hour or so to dissipate. It's not an in-your-face sort of scent, it's in fact quite a relaxing scent ... if it were toned down just a tad.

So, the big question at the end of every product review post - would I buy this? As much as I am loving my growing collection lavendar, morrocon rose and orange essential oils right now, I can't justify paying close to a hundred ringgit for only 50ml worth of product. Since my nose can't quite get along with the fragrance of it, I guess this will have to be a pass for me.

INGREDIENT LIST
WATER (AQUA), CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) FRUIT WATER, MENTHA PIPERITA (PEPPERMINT) LEAF EXTRACT, GLYCERIN, SQUALANE, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER), CAPRYLIC / CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, MYRETH-3 MYRISTATE, CORYLUS AVELLANA (HAZEL) SEED OIL, STEARIC ACID, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, CETYL ALCOHOL, PEG-6, PEG-32, SACCHARIDE ISOMERATE, PANTHENOL, DIMETHICONE, CETYL PALMITATE, CITRUS AURANTIUM AMARA (BITTER ORANGE) NEROLI OIL, HYDROLYZED VIOLA TRICOLOR EXTRACT, MORINGA PTERYGOSPERMA SEED EXTRACT, CODIUM TOMENTOSUM EXTRACT, CITRUS AURANTIUM AMARA (BITTER ORANGE) FLOWER WATER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SORBITAN STEARATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, POLYACRYLAMIDE, TRIETHANOLAMINE, RETINYL PALMITATE, GLYCERYL ACRYLATE/ACRYLIC ACID COPOLYMER, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN, DEXTRIN, TETRASODIUM EDTA, LAURETH-7, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, FRAGRANCE (PARFUM), BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL, HEXYL CINNAMAL, CITRONELLOL, LINALOOL, ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE, LIMONENE, GERANIOL, SODIUM BENZOATE, BHT.

June 22, 2013

sneak peek: lunasol 2013 fall makeup

Lunasol is part of the Kanebo makeup family that focuses on purification for the body and soul. Late 2012 saw Lunasol launch their fall collection inspired by the shine and shimmer of crystals hence the theme "Crystal Radiant Purification". The colours in their eye shadow pallettes were in fall colours of deep blue, khaki, mauve and beige.


Then for spring, Lunasol drew inspiration from the vivid colours of the butterfly and created the "Vivid Colour Purification" collection for their 2013 Spring collection which saw bring vibrant colours of turqouise, candy pink, orange, yellow and red - although they prefer the names blue green, pink, orang, khaki beige and pink beige respectively.



While surfing the Internet, I found a sneek peek post into Lunasol's 2013 Fall collection and it seems that the theme for the coming season will focus around light. Unfortunately I can't read Chinese and 魅光浄化 in Google translates into "Light Only Purification". Some bloggers who have had a sneak peek into the collection however mentioned the theme "Refined Allure". Having said that, the colours slated for this collection do seem to be deep and rich, so Google Translate might be wrong.

Lunasol's 2013 Fall makeup collection is scheduled for release in Japan sometime in August or September. I'm looking forward to their eye shadow pallette which features four rich hues with a beautiful ripple patten across each individual cake. From the photo alone, I am already loving Bordeaux and Olive.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT - BORDEAUX, OLIVE, DARK BROWN AND NAVY BLACK
IMAGE CREDIT CHIC PROFILE


IMAGE CREDIT CHIC PROFILE

The colours in Lunasol's fall collection this year are definitely richer and deeper compared to last year, evident in the colours featured in their nail finish line. It's not a bad thing after an entire season of vivid candy pop colours in quite a few Spring/Summer makeup collections, perhaps it's time to tone down a tad.

I'm pretty excited to see what else is in store ... till then, happy weekend everyone!

June 20, 2013

my love affair with dior ...

... was cememted on one crisp autumn afternoon on The Strip in Las Vegas. I wandered into Sephora because it was on my "Places To Wander In While In USA" list. An hour or so later, I wandered out with my very first Dior purchase and I have never looked back since.


My very first Dior purchase comprised of the Dior Crème de Rose lipbalm, the Dior Sérum de Rouge lipstick and the Diorshow Brow Styler which came with a miniature Dior mascara. All that was two years ago. Needless to say, my Dior collection has grown since ...


Even while enroute home from New York onboard Cathay Pacific, I added the Dior Minaudière Fards Paupières et Gloss nr. 002 to my collection. I didn't know then it was part of Dior's 2010 Holiday collection and was a limited edition item - I bought it simply because I was on a Dior high and because it was absolutely stunning from every single angle.

 
 

My collection isn't of epic proportions like some girlfriends I know {you know who you are} but Dior and I are quite happy. It will be three years come November and I look forward to adding more memories in the years to come - perhaps this Christmas.

So ... are you in a love affair with Dior too?

June 19, 2013

who knew i could ramble on for so long! giveaway time it is then ...

Wow ... this is my 200th post. I cannot believe I've been rambling on and on for a 199 posts! Goodness, I have been going on and on for quite a while, haven't I? Oh well, loads more to come :-)

In honour of my previous 199 ramblings and the future ones to come, I've decided to hold a giveaway featuring one of my favourite products from one of my favourite brands ... FULL SIZE and it will come to you wrapped up in a custom made gift box featuring prints from my favourite DIY goddess, Lia Griffith.

DIY BOX & PHOTOGRAPHY BY MOI.
CHEVRON PRINT COURTESY OF DIY GODDESS, LIA GRIFFITH.

However, there are a couple of catches though ...

June 17, 2013

yves rocher fraîche rose ... the scent of roses in a bottle as roses should be

When it comes to flowers, I never really had a favourite until Aunty Sally from Sunny Blooms florist walked into the room with my wedding bouquets. You read right - it's plural; that wonderful woman decided to make me a last minute backup bouquet with a mix of lilac coloured roses and eustomas and the scent that the bouquet released was nothing short of heavenly. My lovely bouquet wilted within three days and I've been searching for that little piece of rose heaven ever since.


It will be five years since this coming August and in the last five years, I've been subjecting my sniffers to quite a number of rose-inspired products and I think I may have finally found a winner in the Yves Rocher Rose Fraîche collection.

I was first introduce to Yves Rocher by way of the third edition of Thelilacbox. In it was a bottle of Yves Rocher Rose Fraîche Shower Gel ... it's one of those little beauty box treasures you find along the way.

May I recommend you use it in the morning, close your eyes while allowing the warm water of the shower to flow and imagine you're standing in a French garden at the break of dawn ... surrounded by nothing but roses about to bloom, on its petals the dew has just settled and the air is crisp and fresh. The scent that wafts through your bathroom and the moment it hits your senses is one of pure bliss.  Of all the rose conconctions that I've tried over the years, Yves Rocher Rose Fraîche hits just the right notes; in short, it's a rose in a bottle as a rose in the garden is and should be.


Part of the Un Mantin au Jardin collection,   Yves Rocher Rose Fraîche is formulated with key botanicals in palmarosa essential oil, geranium essential oil, grapefruit essential oil, lemon essential oil, organic aloe vera gel, botanical glycerin, Yves Rocher Rose Fraîche has managed to stay true to its name of fresh roses. It's also free of parabens and colorants.



I'll definitely be visiting a Yves Rocher counter the next time I'm in KL. Hopefully the fragrances are just as heavenly.

If you love the scent of fresh roses and like me, you're searching for that perfect scent of a fresh roses, do give this shower gel a sniff. Only then, decide if it's worth the price because I personally think it is for a moment of peace and tranquility surrounded by the scent of roses before the hustle and bustle of the day ... but then as always, that's just me.


YVES ROCHER ROSE FRAICHE RETAILS AT NRP RM39 FOR 200ML AND IS AVAILABLE AT ALL YVES ROCHER OUTLETS & COUNTERS. YOU CAN ALSO FIND THEM ON FACEBOOK.

June 15, 2013

life is short and time is like a thief in the night

Christopher Pike once wrote in his book "The Last Vampire". “Death never comes at the right time, despite what mortals believe. Death always comes like a thief.”

Life is short; it is unpredictable and no matter how you see it it is inevitably short. The mood in the entire office this morning is a sombre one. A colleague of ours passed on suddenly after dinner last night. Everyone who knew her said she was as healthy as a horse yet she left so suddenly, leaving a trail of unanswered questions.

My father passed away when I was eighteen and my maternal grandmother left us two years later. I had a chance to say goodbye to my father but I was in Australia when my Ah Mah passed on. It's been more than a decade yet I miss them both dearly; I still have questions and I still wish we had more time but ...


“ ... sometimes, the Lord just takes blessed people because they've filled their purpose early. Everyone plays their own song. They sing their story to the world and leave behind a melody of memories. Sometimes, their song is cut short and ends too early. But that doesn't mean their music was any less sweet or that they left any less of an impression.” ―  The Stillburrow Crush

Rest in peace, SL.

June 13, 2013

vanity trove june edition: obsessive beauty

When Valerie from VanityTrove Malaysia sent me another complimentary trove to review this month, I was looking forward to it because of their June theme - Obsessive Beauty. My head was filled with images of a box filled to the brim with makeup goodies, plus a voucher or two ... these images I wholeheartedly blame on the Christina Aguilera look-a-like wannabe plastered on their website, beckoning to subscribers with a makeup addiction {i.e., moi} like a siren call.


My pristine and rather heavy beauty trove arrived on my desk early June in VT's signature colours of white & hot pink ... and then the next six hours was torture. Utter torture because the dang box kept staring at me, calling to me to open it and I just couldn't! All the anticipation I built up in the course of a few weeks was flattened like a capathi because of a dateline I had to meet. When I finally got home, I took a few minutes - sat down and just stared at the box. Yes I did. After six hours of waiting to open the box ... I stared at it. I guess after having two kids who test my patience every single second of the day seem to have worked wonders on my patience which literally, was on the shorter end of the fuse prior.

I first heard the term "beauty box" from YouTube's makeup darling, Michelle Phan; now an ambassador for Lancôme. She launched her version of a beauty box a few years back in the US and needless to say, it was a total hit. Back then, I lamented that Malaysia didn't have something similar and as if by some miracle, the Big Guy must have heard me because beauty boxes started springing up like mushroom circles after the fairies danced in the moonlight - Yes. I believe in fairies ... don't you?

However in the course of the last few months, I have found the original concept of subscribing to a beauty box to have evolved. Beauty boxes are essentially a beauty sampling program created to allow subcribers an opportunity to trial beauty & makeup products in either sample or  deluxe sized; sometimes it may come in full sizes too. It's basically subscribing " ... to the thrill of scoring something unexpected". Nowadays, that thrill is replaced with an expectation which I personally feel is a tad unfair because when the expected brand/item isn't included, the bottom line spells "You suck! I will never ever subcribe again ... ever!"

Which is why I stared at VanityTrove's June edition themed Obsessive Beauty, instead of ripping off the protective plastic cover and rummaging through my trove. I was expecting makeup ... lots of it and deep down I knew it wasn't fair to VanityTrove because it is after all, a box of surprises. What's the point of a surprise if you have etched an expection only to be disappointed if it isn't met, right? So, I wiped out the Christina Aguilera look-a-like wannabe expectation from my mind, took in a deep breath and re-evaluated what Obsessive Beauty meant to Valerie and VanityTrove Malaysia instead and found these surprises inside ...

June 10, 2013

REN hydra-calm global protection day cream

When a complete stranger {or two}, walks up to you and asks you what skincare you're using, you know you've scored a winner in your skincare routine. It's especially true when you're thirty-something and have two lil' trolls kids who lets you sleep on average about four hours every night {including weekends and public holidays} in the last four years.

Part of the REN skincare family, the Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream is a moisturizer formulated for sensitive skin. I don't have sensitive skin but my skin absolutely loves this creamy moisturizer. After just three days of use, my skin is re-hydrated and it looks and feel so much more healthier than before. I kid you not - even the husband noticed and coming from the husband it is indeed very, very rare.


A full size bottle measures at 50 ml and retails for RM177 at KENSapothecary. It comes with a pump cap while the product itself is suspended in a vacuum-like tubing ... which means that as the product is pumped out of the pack, air does not get in to replace it. This design also acts as a preservative that kills bugs which may get into the product from the air or from our fingers. It also prevents air from coming into contact with the product therefore minimizing the use of preservative and the 100% natural fragrance used in the product stays as fresh as possible. 

Yes ... I got lazy and plagiarized from my previous REN post but, let's move on, shall we?

 

The texture; if I knew nothing about REN or its skin and mother earth friendly approach to skincare, the texture of the Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream would have definitely put me off. I have typical combination skin issues - an oily T-zone with enough sleek to fry an egg on warm days; patchy dry cheeks that feels like the Saharan dessert floor on most days; enlarged potholes near the nose area every other day; and villages of minority blemish clans sprouting up all over my chin declaring war on each other during specific days - all leaving me with a mine field of battle scars. So naturally, I stay away from creams. 

The Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream is not only thick and creamy, its texture reminds me of butter cream frosting which to me, spells disaster ... on most occasions, anyway. But I sucked it up and gave it a go just to see how skin friendly it is; this is me living on the edge, sad I know - je n'ai pas de temps pour moi, oui.

Anyway, I applied it as a night cream and then I had a "... huh?" moment because not only did the cream absorb quickly, it was not tacky to the touch at all. Its scent is one that is refreshing and relaxing at the same time. It also left my skin smoother and I just could not stop touching my face. I woke up the next morning to simply better looking skin ... and that was that. I was utterly hooked like lil' Ee is to balloons.


After just three days of using my 5 ml sample which I got from the Lilac Encounter with REN, I got myself a full-size bottle ... and with my full-size bottle, I got me three more products in miniature sizes to try {insert rubbing-hands-with-glee moment here} which, I think will most likely warrant a few more reviews on REN pretty soon.


Have you tried REN before ... what's your favourite? Do spill the beans ... 

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR WOULD LIKE TO GIVE REN A TRY BUT IT'S NOT AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA, DO GIVE KENS APOTHECARY BANGSAR VILLAGE II A CALL AT +603-2282 0661 TO INQUIRE / PLACE AN ORDER AND/OR ARRANGE FOR DELIVERY.
INGREDIENTS ANTHEMIS NOBILIS (CHAMOMILE) FLOWER EXTRACT, CAMELLIA OLEIFERA SEED OIL, CETEARYL ETHYHEXANOATE, MYRISTYL MYRISTATE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, SESAMUM INDICUM (SESAME) SEED OIL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER), CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE, GLYCERIN, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, TRIHEPTANOIN, ORYZANOL, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, PHENOXYETHANOL, VACCINIUM MACROCARPON (CRANBERRY) SEED OIL, RIBES NIGRUM (BLACK CURRANT) SEED OIL, BISABOLOL, CALENDULA OFFICINALIS FLOWER EXTRACT, LAMINARIA OCHROLEUCA EXTRACT, CASSIA ALATA LEAF EXTRACT, PUERARIA LOBATA (KUDZU) SYMBIOZOME EXTRACT, CARBOMER, SODIUM HYDROXYMETHYLGLYCINATE, HIPPOPHAE RHAMNOIDES FRUIT EXTRACT, CITRUS NOBILIS (MANDARIN ORANGE) PEEL OIL, PELARGONIUM GRAVEOLENS FLOWER OIL, CINNAMOMUM CAMPHORA LINALLOLIFERUM (HO WOOD) LEAF OIL, ANTHEMIS NOBILIS (CHAMOMILE) FLOWER OIL, LIMONENE, CITRONELLOL, GERANIOL, LINALOOL, TOCOPHEROL.

June 6, 2013

dior jelly lip pen

WARNING IF YOU LOVE ALL THING DIOR, LIMITED EDITION JUMBO LIP PENCILS AND THE COLOUR TURQUOISE, YOU MIGHT WANT TO STEER OF THIS PARTICULAR POST. OTHERWISE, READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

The new and limited edition Dior Jelly Lip Pens are the latest jumbo lip pens to hit the jumbo lip pen market. The fact that it's from Dior makes for quite a lot of hype, as it should be.


Part of the gorgeous and drool-inducing Dior 2013 Spring/Summer Birds of Paradise Collection, the Dior Jelly Lip Pens have been blogged and raved about by many and I mean many beauty bloggers so I won't be going into the specifics of both the collection and the Jelly Lip Pens either. Instead today, I'll be doing a little bit of comparing ...

The Dior Jelly Lip Pens are available in four juicy shades which smells like tropical fruit punch and comes with very South American names, except for one.



There's nr. 476 Ilhabela; a subtle bubblegum pink, nr. 516 Copacabana; a warm nude, nr. 636 Carioca; a subtle coral and nr. 656 Gaîa; a warm rose. 

My first jumbo lip pen is nr. 04 Mega Melon from Clinique's line of Chubby Sticks. Then I added nr. 01 Curviest Caramel from the Chubby Stick Intense line half a year later and just last week, I got "blogged" into purchasing nr. 656 Gaîa the day after I read Paris' review at MyWomenStuff.

Gaîa really is a very pretty colour. When I swatched it on my arm at Dior, it reminded me of fresh blooms of roses warming up at the break of dawn. However when applied onto my lips, it morphed into a cooler hue of strawberry pink but nevertheless still pretty.

Compared to Clinique's Chubby Sticks, Dior's Jelly Lip Pen isn't is as intense in colour as it applies sheer. 


Texture wise, Dior is more balmy while Clinique glides creamier. I find that due to Dior's balmy texture, my lips are kept hydrated longer. Even without my usual coating of Dior's sex-on-a-stick Lip Maximiser, the Jelly Lip Pen lasts a little longer hydration wise compared to Clinique's Chubby Sticks ... even the Intense version.

Unlike lipsticks, the staying power of both the Dior and Clinique jumbo lip pens are relatively short which means you will need to reapply every few hours or so. On me, the maximum I could stretch it to was an hour half to two and that is provided I didn't eat or drink.

Having said that, the only time I actually do use my jumbo lip pens are during the casual Fridays and the weekends when all I need is a wash of colour on my lips. They're convenient and right now, nr. 656 Gaîa is going a pretty good job in giving me just that hint of natural rosiness. 

Would I recommend you jump into your car, drive to your nearest Dior counter and go grab one yourself? Yes and no - it really depends on your preferences when it comes to lip colour. If you're one who prefers something pigmented, then it's best you stick to Clinique's Chubby Sticks however if you're into sheer colours then by all means, go grab a Dior Jelly Lip Pen. 

A word of advise though and this is based from my own experience - if you're planning to purchase nr. 656  Gaîa without testing just because a lot of reviews say it's the prettiest colour among the four {and it is}, don't. If your skin tone leans towards the warmer hues, might I recommend you give nr. 636 Carioca a go instead as Gaîa might make you look a tad pale. However, if your skin tone leans towards cooler hues then nr. 656 Gaîa is definitely for you. 

If you're not sure which hue your skin tone is leaning towards, just ask yourself if you look better in gold or silver jewelry. If you look good in good, then you're warm-hued; if you look good in silver, then you're cool-hued.

In the meantime, I'll continue drooling over the 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow in Blue Lagoon, the 001 Samba nail colour duo and the DiorSkin Nude Tan in Pink Glow, all from Dior 2013 Spring/Summer Birds of Paradise Collection ... all the while contemplating and plotting and contemplating some more. But if you see me writing about them, then you'll know I've caved ... which you might because they are really pretty. Did I mention they're limited edition too?


Anyhow ... I do hope I didn't do too much damage to your bank account this month.

DIOR LIP JELLY PEN RETAILS AT RM85 AND IS AVAILABLE AT ALL DIOR COUNTERS NATIONWIDE. THEY ARE ON A  "WHILE STOCKS LAST" BASIS AS THEY'RE LIMITED EDITION. CLINIQUE CHUBBY STICK AND CHUBBY STICK INTENSE RETAILS AT RM58 AND IS AVAILABLE AT ALL CLINIQUE COUNTERS NATIONWIDE.

June 4, 2013

primers - lunasol smoothing makeup base & burberry fresh glow luminous fluid base

Pamela Anderson once said,"... natural beauty takes at least two hours in front of a mirror." Perhaps that is true for Hollywood's version of natural beauty. Natural beauty for a mama with a full time job and two Mexican jumping beans for kids living outside of Hollywood will have to settle for under ten minutes since both the beans kids will be clambering all over me within five; lil' Ee wants to play with my lipsticks & lipglosses and lil' Kai wants to play snuggle-wuggle with me.

I have contemplated skipping the hassle-frazzle of the morning face painting routine but unfortunately, going to work bare faced and zombie-fied isn't a sight I want to sport in the office, unless it's Halloween - a reason why I'm always on the lookout for products to help me cut the face painting time short-er in the mornings; like using foundation primers.


If you're wondering what foundation primers are and if it really is necessary, I guess you're not alone. Personally, I don't think they are necessary especially with the way foundation formulas have been revolutionised over the years. However, having said that foundation primers do serve as a "protective barrier" for your skin. It creates a smooth surface for your foundation to glide and melt into by filling in pores and fine lines, instead of your foundation.

According to Laura Mercier, foundation primers also allow foundations to stay-put in hot weather, prevent skin from absorbing talc & pigment from your foundation and prevent talc from drawing oil out from the skin, hence drying it out.

Lately, I've been getting into a routine of applying a primer before my foundation, not so much because everyone say I should but because I find that it keeps my skin from drying out by the end of the day. I am also less inflicted with the likes of monsieur Pimple and its close relatives in the Blemish clan.


These days, I'm alternating between Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base and Lunasol Smoothing Makeup Base. Burberry was in the debut box of Thelilacbox while Lunasol was featured in their second box. Although both function primarily as foundation primers, they are as different as night and day and have very different effects on my skin depending on which foundation I pair it with. Let me explain ...



Burberry Beauty's Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base is lighter and much more gel-like compared to Lunasol Smoothing Makeup Base. I got distracted by the kids when I attempted to blend in the primers. After about a minute or so, I found that while Burberry's texture remained gel-like as first pumped and blended easily, Lunasol's texture dried up and turned pastey. It didn't cake solid but it did take a while to warm it up and blend it in.

Visually, I couldn't tell the difference between both primers when blended in onto skin but I can feel the difference. Burberry's formula is much more hydrating which is why I normally pair it with my Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation, which have recently developed a tendency to dry out my skin.

Lunasol's formula on the other hand tends to be a tad dry so I pair it with heavier foundations, like the Max Factor Ageless Elixir 2+1 Serum and the Lunasol Skin Modelling Liquid Foundation. I'll be testing the primers with DiorSnow White Reveal Fresh Transparency Liquid Foundation next week but I suspect Lunasol would be better suited for Dior on my skin as this particular foundation is infused with Dior’s patented Icelandic Glacial Water ... but more on that in another post.

While Burberry's formula is fragrance and SPF-free, there is a very subtle powdery scent to Lunasol's SPF22PA++ formulation which dissipates shortly when applied onto skin. Both foundation primers do contain shimmers but it doesn't bring out the disco-ball effect, in case you're wondering.


Lunasol Smoothing Makeup Base retails at RM118 for a 30 ml tube with a nozzle-tip dispenser while Burberry Beauty's Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base retails at RM165 for the same amount and comes with a pump dispenser. I personally prefer Burberry's version but I'm not entire not-liking Lunasol's as well - at least it doesn't come with a flat-tip dispenser like that of a toothpaste tube because I hate cleaning product from hard to get nooks and cranies on the short screw-neck.

For this working mama who has a toddler with makeup-napping tendencies and an infant who is stickier than mod-PODGE twenty-four seven, I do prefer a primer before foundation simply because it makes the morning face painting routine less of a hassle. At the same time my skin is kept hydrated throughout the day so I don't have to worry about ending it up with the Sahara dessert. 

I don't have a particular favourite between the Burberry and Lunasol primers as they both work well in evening out my skintone, minimising my pores and adding just that little bit of dewiness sans foundation. However, during the weekends when I prefer to go without makeup, I do find myself reaching out for my tube of Lunasol if the husband decides to take the clan out because it contains SPF and Burberry doesn't; the evening of skin tone, minimizing of pores and dewiness bit is well ... an added bonus :-)

So, what do you think about primers ... are they a go or no go for you?


BURBERRY FRESH GLOW LUMINOUS FLUID BASE IS AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT ISETAN KLCC. NRP RM165 FOR 30ML BOTTLE WHILE LUNASOL SMOOTHING MAKEUP BASE IS AVAILABLE AT ALL KANEBO COUNTERS NATIONWIDE. NRP RM118 FOR 30ML TUBE. IF YOU'RE IN IPOH, KANEBO IS AVAILABLE AT PARKSON PARADE.
BURBERRY INGREDIENT LIST : AQUA (WATER), GLYCERIN, ISOHEXADECANE, ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE, ETHYLHEXYL STEARATE, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, SODIUM ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, PHENOXYETHANOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, CASSIA ANGUSTIFOLIA SEED POLYSACCHARIDE, POLYSORBATE 80, PANTHENOL, CARBOMER, SORBITAN OLEATE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, SODIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE, LYCIUM BARBARUM FRUIT EXTRACT, POTASSIUM SORBATE, ROSA CANINA FRUIT EXTRACT, SORBIC ACID, TOCOPHEROL, SODIUM HYDROXIDE. MAY CONTAIN CI 77019 (MICA), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES)

LUNASOL INGREDIENT LIST : AQUA (WATER), ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE, DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERIN, DIMETHICONE, PHENYL TRIMETHICONE, MINERAL OIL, STEARYL ALCOHOL, PHYTOSTERYL / ISOSTEARYL / CETYL/STEARYL / BEHENYL DIMER DILINOLEATE, SORBITAN ISOSTEARATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL STEARATE SE, PETROLATUM, DIISOSTEARYL MALATE, STEARIC ACID, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) STEROLS, HYDRATED SILICA, XANTHAN GUM, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, ALGIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, ALCOHOL, HYDROLYZED SILK, ASTRAGALUS SINICUS EXTRACT, PANAX GINSENG ROOT EXTRACT, SOLUBLE COLLAGEN, ROYAL JELLY EXTRACT, SALVIA OFFICINALIS (SAGE) LEAF EXTRACT, SODIUM HYALURONATE, SODIUM CETYL SULFATE, BHT, EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, PARABEN, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, MICA, TALC