July 31, 2013

my customised vanitytrove malaysia

VanityTrove Malaysia launched its new concept of a fully customized beauty trove of products a couple of weeks back and after what seemed like forever staring at the computer screen, unable to decide on which products I wanted - I am glad to annouce that my very first customized trove have arrived and as promised; within seven days of confirmed payment.

It is definitely a "Yes!" from me simply because I get to be the maestro in what went into this trove ... my trove. I quite like this concept; having the ability to control what products go in which makes the product hits my rave and the product misses my rant - it's perfect for this particularly picky thirtysomething mama with an addiction to trying new products.

There is a catch though. You will need to instil three things within you. One, patience which you will need while waiting for new products to be added. Two, the ability to stalk the list of products on a regular basis and finally, three - a firm mind to decide which items you want to add to your beauty trove. And if all else fails, grab yourself a few cuppas of whatever sparks your mojo and set an alarm to remind you to stalk the list here.

Once you've mastered these skills or have sparked your mojo, you'll be well on your way to thoroughly enjoying this addictive experience. Well, that and the fact that you will also need RM50 to feed that addiction but hey! - totally worth it when it arrives at your doorstep, right?

So, will I continue on with a second customized VanityTrove? Absolutely - in fact, I already have!

{ ... psst! Rodial's Dragon Blood Sculpting Gel is on the list and it's going fast!}

July 30, 2013

guerlain rouge automatique in ballade

With a heritage that dates back to 1936 as the first lipstick case designed without a cap thus allowing use with only one hand, the Guerlain Rouge Automatique is a beautiful work of art - from its sleek gold casing to the push down/slide up action to the gorgeous colours encased within, it is eye candy from every single angle.

The original Guerlain Rouge Automatique line features twenty five colours boasting different shades of beige, orange, pink and red - no matter what your skin tone and under tone is, you're bound to find that perfect shade to match.

However, today I will be reviewing the colour and formula of one half of the Guerlain's Rouge Automatique lineup in its Spring 2013 collection - the Guerlain Rouge Automatique in 600 Ballade.

The Guerlain Rouge Automatique Spring 2013 lineup featured two colours; 600 Ballade which is warm toned and 601 Romance which is cool toned and yes, they are limited editions. Both these colours were available at the Luxasia Malaysia sale held last weekend at Park Royal KL, going for RM40 each - I went home with Ballade. I was looking forward to the Guerlain Rouge G lipsticks but I heard they were sold out on the first day of the sale. Oh well ... there is always next year.

From the tube Guerlain Rouge Automatique in 600 Ballade looks to be coral/pink in hue and is frosted, which means there are tiny particles of shimmer in its formula. However, comparing the colour against Dior Addict Extreme in 339 Silouette, Guerlain Rouge Automatique in 600 Ballade definitely leans more towards pink.

Hmm ... pink and frosted. I was close to kicking myself because the formula had two things in it that I would never, for the life of me buy in a lipstick due to previous experiences. But then I tried it on anyway when the family went out for dinner and was quite pleasantly surprised.

For one, I was expecting the gritty feeling during application usually associated with frosted lipsticks but the colour glided on creamy and smooth. On my lips, the colour stayed on for about four hours but after the third hour, my lips starting feeling a little dry but not to the point of uncomfortable cracked lips. I was expecting it anyway as a lot of Rouge Automatique users have complain about the formula being less moisturizing than the Rouge G.

As with Dior Addict Extreme, the formula for Guerlain Rouge Automatique in 600 Ballade is also sheer. However, the colour is quite pigmented and stayed true on my lips without morphing into another shade as with Dior Addict Extreme in 339 Silouette.

My one other complain about this lipstick, other than the not so moisturizing formula after the three hour mark is also the very thing that makes it unique and gorgeous - it's design. There is only 2.5 cm of product that slides out from the golden case that surrounds it. In order to apply the lipstick without the case brushing across my mouth, I need to slide at least 2 cm of product out and that makes me feel like I'm going to break the lipstick off at its base. I could apply the lipstick at a 180° angle but I don't quite like rounding off the tip of my lipsticks. Sigh ... I am a difficult woman, aren't I?

Overall, I am quite pleased with my purchase since it was only RM40, so whatever complains I may have with the Guerlain Rouge Automatique in this particular colour is really quite insignificant. However, will I spend RM114 on another tube of Guerlain Rouge Automatique in the near future? Hmm ... at this very moment - no. I've read of poetic lyrics waxed about Guerlain Rouge Automatique in other colours {some not frosted too} but for the price it is retailing at and its formula after the three hour mark on my lips, I think I'll stick to Dior Addict Extreme. The Guerlain Rouge G however might have a different ending. I'll let you know how that pans out when I get my grubby little hands on one.

July 29, 2013

my luxasia malaysia 2013 sale haul

So last weekend, I attended my first ever Luxasia Malaysia sale held at Park Royal KL. I arrived early on the second day of the sale all hyped and geared up for some similar Rebecca Bloomwood-like action when she went for the sample sale - loads of squealing and pushing and cat-fighting over Gucci.

Well, Hollywood will most definitely go bust if it were based in Malaysia because we Malaysian gals are a very subdued bunch. The cornered off pathway to the hall was empty and the hall itself was only quarter filled with not very excited looking shoppers.

So ... how was the sale, you might ask?

Let's see. I was ready to get me some Burberry lipsticks, eye-shadows and blush plus some Guerlain lipsticks but I ended up with these instead:

Anna Sui Secret Wish EDT; Salvatore Ferragamo Lovely Flower; Issey Miyake Pleats Please Body Lotion, Anna Sui eyeshadow, blush and lipgloss with lace purse set and Guerlain Automatique lipstick. Total damage dealt - RM280.

Not bad seeing the total nrp would have cost me quite close to a grand but I am slightly disappointed at what was being offered probably because I was in it for the cosmetics, and the only cosmetics on sale were very selected items from the Anna Sui and Guerlain lines - the Rouge G lipsticks were also sold out on the first day itself. Fragrances enthusiasts would have had a field day though because there were plenty to select from with the exception of Chloe and Burberry, which were missing in action.

I might have hyped myself up way too much by reading posts on Luxasia Singapore's sale held last month. Perhaps next year, I'll go on the first day and with lower expectations.

So, did you go to the Luxasia Malaysia sale last weekend ... were you wow-ed?

July 26, 2013

kanebo lip fresh, one half the equation to a űber lush and sexy pout

Kanebo Lip Fresh is essentially a lipstick remover for the lips ... erm, woman - that is quite obvious isn't it? {rolls eye and smacks forehead}.

Well, you can blame my absolute excitement over the Luxasia sale happening this weekend for pointing out the obvious. But ever since reality sunk in and I realised that I'm actually going, my mind has pretty much made an early dash to Parkroyal KL and parked its hiney at the entrance of The Orchid Ballroom.

Hmm ...

Anyway, today I thought I'd share a little discovery I made two weeks ago - the equation to a űber lush and sexy pout ... from a thirtysomething's point of view, that is - just to be clear.

I received a 9 ml sample bottle when I purchased the Lunasol Smoothing Makeup Base a few months back. I usually remove my lipstick/lip gloss when I clean off the war-paint in the evenings with my usual makeup remover, so this little bottle was kept hidden away in my stash of samples for a bit until lil Ee decided to play face paint with my lip balms, lipsticks and lip glosses which is when I busted this out.

So, did it work? Yes, it did. It removed the lip pens, lipsticks and lip glosses in a single swipe. It took two swipes for lip glosses and three for lip glosses with shimmer but that was because lil Ee laid it on pretty thick {... honey, you owe mama a tube of Dior Addict and it is coming out from your piggy bank.}

To show you what I mean, here's a little experiment I did; a smorgasbord of textures from different lip pens, lip glosses and lipsticks. On my arm, I swiped the Dior Addict Lip Gloss and Dior Addict Lip Jelly twice, the Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick and Clinique Chubby Stick Intense thrice and Dior Lip Maximizer once. Then I dabbed just a bit of Kanebo Lip Fresh on a twice folded tissue paper and proceeded to swipe the colours off.

The photo on your left is a one-swipe test while the photo on your right is a two-swipe test. There is still a little bit of shimmer from the Dior Addict Lip Gloss and a bit of Clinique Chubby Stick Intense left on my arm but it's nothing that cannot be cleaned off with a fold of the tissue and another wipe.

For good order sake, here's the aftermath photo :-)

There isn't any fragrance to the liquid but it does smell a little like a mix of saline solution and a lot of salt ... that is if like me, you decide take a whiff. Incidentally, the liquid is salty and although I don't quite mind it, which in my personal opinion is better than tasting fragrance, some may find it put-offish.

The only thing I am concern about is that the formula looks a little "soapy" to me what with the "bubbles" forming inside the bottle whenever I tip it over to pour out. The formula didn't foam up when I poured a little onto my palms and rubbed away but it does feel slightly alkaline-ish so I usually rinse/re-wipe off with water after use just to be safe.

Other than that, it's a pretty good remover and helps prep the lips for lipstick/lip gloss application without drying the smackers out. Besides, a little goes a long way too. It's been a full week of daily use and I still have a little over half bottle left, even after lil Ee's adventure.

Now, back to the equation of űber lush and sexy pout: just dab a little bit of Kanebo Lip Fresh on the corner of a folded tissue/cotton pad and swipe it on your lips a few times and wipe clean with water ... that is, if you're like me. Proceed to apply a thin layer of Dior Lip Maximizer, wait a few seconds for that tingling sensation to kick in then look in the mirror - űber lush and sexy pout staring back at ya!

OK. I admit you can achieve the űber lush and sexy pout look without adding the extra Kanebo Lip Fresh step but I personally find that with this combination, the Dior Lip Maximizer works better with lip lines filled up effectively and lips plumped up evenly.

Now, having said ALL that ... I haven't quite decided if I'd purchase a full size bottle after my sample bottle runs out. I'm still weighing out the pros and cons seeing I haven't had any problems with my normal makeup remover and a little extra pout-time doesn't quite warrant an extra makeup remover purchase for me.

What's your take ... would you purchase full size for a little extra pout-time?

July 25, 2013

here's what to you get when you blend frozen bananas, avocadoes and vanilla ice cream for the kids ...

A very happy toddler who thinks her mama is the "bestest frooit and ice cream blenderer" in the whole wide world and proceeds to wallop the bowl of frozen blended moosh down by the baby spoonful.

Then there's this little fellow; a frustrated baby brother who is all fidgetty and impatient waiting for his turn at the bowl of frozen blended moosh because his big sister is hogging the bowl.

My poor baby boy ... but I am glad to report that he had his fill of the frozen blended moosh after this photo was taken because the big sister's attention turned to a tray of freshly baked chocolate chip hazelnut filled bread. If I can say so myself ... yummo! {pat on the back}.

Back to the subject at hand - I decided to make a bowl of creamy frozen treat for my kids last weekend because they were on their best behaviour - something that does not happen often; like in a blue moon with hints of purple and pink in it. Yep, it is that rare, folks.

Anyway, here's a must-have photo of the infamous bowl of pout-inducing frozen blended moosh. Nope, it is not a pretty sight and might be visually goose-bump inducing to some because of its greenish grey hue and banana yellow bits in it. But hey! ... it actually tastes just like a banana smoothie thanks to the creamy avocado and the sweetness from the vanilla ice cream, minus a few calories :-)

So, if you would like to try this out with your kids {or for yourself}, here's how I made mine.

  1. Freeze three ripe bananas in the freezer overnight then take out and allow to semi-thaw - still half frozen but able to peel off the skin with it sticking.
  2. Toss the sliced bananas and one ripe avocado into blender cup, add one tablespoon of vanilla ice cream and blend away - I used my trusty Kenwood handheld blender for this because a blender was just too big in volume.
  3. Adjust the consistency with water - enjoy!
You can adjust the consistency with full cream milk for an extra kick of creaminess but I would not recommend doing so if you are feeding this to an infant below twelve months as there's already ice cream in the mix. Paediatricians do not recommend feeding infants under twelve months of age cow's milk as their little bodies cannot digest the milk as completely or easily as breast milk or formula.
"Cow's milk contains high concentration of protein and minerals which can tax your baby's immature kidneys. In addition, cow's milk doesn't have the right amounts of iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients for infants. It may even cause iron-deficiency anemia in some babies, since cow's milk protein can irritate the lining of the digestive system, leading to blood in the stools. Finally, cow's milk doesn't provide the healthiest types of fat for growing babies." - Baby Center
Having said that ... always and I do mean it, always check with your paediatrician before incorporating anything you're unsure of in your infant's diet. If you would like to incorporate full cream milk in your infant's diet like I did here, please do wait until they are at almost a year old {lil Kai is 11 months old now} and in very ... and I repeat, very moderate amounts. 

Otherwise a blended mix of frozen bananas, avocados and water will taste just a awesome. Bon appétit!

July 24, 2013

luxasia malaysia branded fragrances and cosmetics 2013 sale

... breath in, breath out. Repeat and if all else fails, squeal in delight anyways and then go run around the house with your arms flailing in the air screaming in squeaky tones, "I am so so so so so going!" - well, that was me five minutes ago. 

Now that I am much calmer, courtesy of TheLilacBox on Facebook - I present to you very glad tiding from Luxasia Malaysia; this. 

For those of you who are squealing and running around the room now, I guess I shall see you there! No bags allowed though ...

For those of you who don't know what the big hype about this sale is all about, then here's a little equation for ya. Imagine your favourite premium fragrance or cosmetic from Burberry Beauty or Guerlain or Chloé ... well, just to name a few and then subtract 70% off the counter nrp - running around with both hands flailing in the air and squealing yet?

Told ya :-)

July 18, 2013

heading off for some me time ... for a week

First off - nope, I am not going on hiatus. Well, sort off but only for a week. June and July have been particularly crazy for me. My August and September schedule is just as hectic, if not even more so ... so I figured I'd best find some inner zen now or I'll be completely burnt out by the time Christmas comes around.

I've also scheduled quite a bit of DIY projects around the house - a few things that don't require a lot of time to complete but I have been putting them off for more than half a year now.

With Christmas around the corner and us planning a Christmas party, I think it's time I stopped procrastinating and started procraftinating instead so I'll have more time to indulge myself in seasonal shopping. Yes, I also realise that "around the corner" is approximately five months away but for a thirtysomething mama with a toddler and an infant and a full time job, five months isn't very far off.



I'm leaving you some teaser images of what is to come on thethirtysomething in coming weeks - loads of DIY projects while I attempt to turn our house into a home, inspired by the fabulous Emily from Jones Design Company and DIY goddess Lia Griffith and of course, product reviews from brands in the likes of Philosphy, Guerlain and my favourite, Dior to name a few.

Stay tuned ... à bientôt!

ps: Don't forget to join my Guess The Giveaway closing really, really soon!

July 17, 2013

a quick guide to the despicable me minions

Minions are adorable. Well, them and the elves from Rise Of The Guardians but then it's not Christmas, yet so I suppose minions rule ... for now.

They've actually taken off better than the elves and also the animals from The Lorax but if you've been hiding underneath a banana peel and have no idea what a minion is, then do click here to read all about them on the Minion Wikia - yes, they have an entire Wiki to themselves. Told ya they were huge, not literally that is.
Anyway, while surfing the web for minion ideas for a project I am working on due end of this month, I found a "light bulb!"; a reference to who's who in the minion company ... kind of a definitive guide to the names of the different minions found in the first Despicable Me movie.

So, if you're like me who have had to endure close to six dozen rewinds of Despicable Me and wondering which minion is which, do check out the guide after the jump.

July 16, 2013

wish & win full-sized beauty goodies with vanitytrove ... oh, yes please!

Since I'm on a roll updating my VanityTrove profile, I thought I'd share this little piece of awesomeness with you ... if you didn't already know, that is.

Again, the steps to this are really simple.
  1. Head on over to VanityTrove and log-on into your account or register one, if you haven't already done so.
  2. Complete your Beauty Profile.
  3. Add any products your heart desires from the many, many, many brands into your Wishlist.
  4. Like the brand of the product you added onto your Wishlist.
  5. Write a review and like more products.
Super simple, right? Now the final step ... go find a four-leaf or carry a faux rabbit's foot with you or like me, cross your fingers and toes too and then hope for the best; just remember to find someone to uncross them for you after a while.

Good luck!

July 15, 2013

the all new customizable vanitytrove. you read right. Customizable!

Beauty boxes are the in-thing nowadays. Every beauty blog out there would have reviewed at least ONE beauty box and almost every one of them would have used the term, "a monthly surprise in a box" at least once to describe it. Whether it's a pleasant surprise or an otherwise not so pleasant one, beauty boxes essentially comes with a subscription fee and is packed with products which you don't have much say nor control over ... BUT what if you did?

Introducing the brand new smart system of personalising your beauty box experience - the customizable VanityTrove. Yes, you read right - customizable, and the mechanics of it all is really simple.

July 14, 2013

rest in peace, cory

I am a Gleek. I have every single episode of Glee since season one, which premiered in 2009. 

Gleeks worldwide are in mourning today. Cory Monteith who plays Finn Hudson was found dead this morning in a hotel room in Vancouver, Canada. 

One of the eight original club members of New Directions in McKinley High's Glee Club, he will be missed ... from his lopsided grin to his scrunched up face when he sings the high notes - Glee will never be the same again.

Rest in peace, Cory.
Stay strong, Lea.

July 5, 2013

dior addict extrême 339 in silhouette

If I had to describe Dior Addict Extrême nr. 339 Silhouette in a single word, it would be perfection. I bought this lipstick last Christmas and half a year in, this is still my go-to tube in the mornings unless I need more pop which is where my Burberry Lip Cover nr. 9 Blush comes in but more of that in another post.

Dior Addict Extrême nr. 339 Silhouette is a warm toned coral hued lipstick; the perfect nude for my fair warm yellow undertone skin.

When swatched on my arm the colour tends to lean towards coral rather than pink. However, it has just the right balance of coral/pinks and when combined with my natural lip colour, it gives me that effortless natural look ... a warm rose pink.

I did a little experiment and deliberately left some colour on my upper lip. If you look closely enough, you can almost see the coral peeking out on the tip of my upper lip while it's a warm rose pink on the rest of my lips. I have no idea how Dior Addict Extrême nr. 339 Silhouette does it but I'm not complaining because I absolutely love it.

I usually apply the Dior Lip Maximizer for extra hydration but even without, the Dior Addict Extrême lipstick glides on effortlessly creamy without tugging and settles comfortably with a hint of subtle sheen and translucency that makes your lips look simply lush ... the whole experience of it is quite addictive, really.

Although the Dior Addict Extrême line is much more pigmented compared to the original Dior Addict line, these are not long wearing lipsticks. You will need to reapply especially after a meal, otherwise the colour and hydration is good on my lips for about three hours.

Would I recommend the Dior Addict Extrême - most definitely yes as a lipstick but not nr. 339 Silhouette specifically. It is a beautiful colour but as always, do make it a point to visit the Dior counter personally to find the shade {or shades} best suited to your skin tone because every girl is unique.

Till my next post - c'est la vie!


July 4, 2013

chalkboard art without the chalk mess

While browsing through the DIY & Craft section on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago, I found that home made chalk paint and chalkboard art was the craze. Personally, I hate chalkboards or blackboards as they are known here in Malaysia - just the thought of chalk residue between my fingers is enough to make me run screaming to the nearest sink. I know, weird but then everyone is entitled to a pet peeve, right? Mine just happens to be chalk residue { ... shudders}.

So ... back to the subject at hand - chalk paint and chalkboard art. Right. Let's forget about chalk paint because that's definitely not happening for me. Chalkboard art - now that I can handle especially when it's digital.

Lil Ee will be turning four in a few weeks. In between the little projects here and there for our home and her birthday party, I decided to take a break and dabble in chalkboard art. The whole project was actually inspired by a quote I saw on the Internet and it morphed into this ...

I think it's a very apt quote for our home given the state it is now in ... The original artwork is credited to Christina at The DIY Mommy. I know both our designs are quite similar as I loved some of the fonts she used but I also changed some because they were just too pretty not to be included!

After that was done, I decided to do another one but then I didn't know what I wanted. So, after loads of inserting and deleting, I came up with this ...

It's a chalkboard print describing my little girl as she turns four. I intentionally left the little photo placeholder blank - that little whimsical spot is reserved for a photo of lil Ee blowing out the candles on her birthday cake during her party coming up soon which I will then print, trim to fit and paste. Art is all about delayed gratification, if only my patience agreed.

I'm thinking about turning this into a tradition with both my kids - but let's take it one day at a time and see if I can keep this up with lil Kai's big one-O coming up in a few months. If I do pull this off, the husband's going to have to build me a bigger house so I can hang all the frames { ... the husband is totally rolling his eyeballs at moi}.

If you're interested in trying this out for yourself, you can download a similar chalkboard background here and stock up on the fonts here. I also didn't use the fancy smancy Photoshop either - both the prints were actually done up with PhotoScape, which you can download here.

I hope you've been inspired. Happy chalkboard-ing!

July 1, 2013

a simple DIY project : mini fridge magnets

Happy July, everyone! It's the first day of the second half of the year today. Gosh, time really does whoosh by at light speed these days, doesn't it?

For the first post on the first day of the second half of the year today, I thought I'd do a write up on a little project I've been putting on the back burner for some time; mini fridge magnets.

Our fridge has been looking a little sad and lonely since we brought it home a few years back. Somehow, all the souvenir magnets from family friends don't feel like they belong - it feels disconnected and doesn't reflect us as family. So last night, I decided to put my toosh to the chair and finish the first of three DIY projects I have lined up; a simple personalised mini fridge magnet photo wall which was inspired by a pin I saw on Pinterest some time back.

Here's what you will need and how I did mine:

  1. You will need photos ... naturally. They don't need to be in the best resolution, just as long as people can tell which end is up and which end is down. Most of my photos were taken with my iPhone 4 which only has a 5 MP camera and I never printed them out because of its horrendous pixelation due to lighting, but for this project they are perfect because the sizing down not only minimises the grainy effect, it also gives the photos character.
  2. Size the photos and print them out onto an A4 sized piece of paper. You don't need PhotoShop to resize or print - I used Microsoft Word; load all the images, crop them into squares and size them 3cm x 3cm. Add a light gray border around the images by going to Format and then select Shape Outline in light gray; this will help you trim the photos especially when you have a light to almost white background. It doesn't matter if you can see the line after you've trimmed the images because you'll cover it up later.
  3. Spray a thin layer of lacquer on the printed images and allow to dry. This step is entirely optional but I prefer to protect my masterpiece from a certain little monkey with grubby hands and a deep rooted passion of rearranging all the magnets on our fridge whenever she's in the kitchen. Besides the mist of lacquer gives a raised-etched look when dry especially on darker inked areas, which I love.
  4. Paste the A4 paper onto cardstock for structure and allow to dry. You can skip this step if you like or if you printed your images on thicker paper but because I printed mine on 80g A4 paper, it gets all bended at the corners.
  5. You're almost done! Now, trim the images into squares and use a black Sharpie and outline the edges of the photo - this hides the gray line too! The black border doesn't have to be super straight, a little bump here and a little curve there makes your masterpiece unique. Just remember to run the Sharpie along the outer edges so the white bits from the A4/photo paper are covered. You can also try out the new Sharpie in gold or silver which in my opinion is gorgeous!
  6. Using double sided tape, adhere the magnets to the back of photo and repeat with the rest of the trimmed out images and you are done.
Just in case you're wondering where I got my magnets from ... the ones I used in this project belonged to the husband. They were from an old set of Top Gear magnets whose history I did not like - so I recycled them into something I liked :-)

If you do not have magnets to recycle, you should be able to get some from your local stationary shop. You can get the thin long strips used on whiteboards and trim them down to the size you want then adhere with double sided tape.

Hope you've been inspired!