These past months I've used different cleansers and would like to share my experience here.

La Mer's cleanser (Fluide de la Mer?)
Texture: runny gel

Steps: 1. dampen your face, 2. foam up a dime-sized amount between your palms, 3. massage all over face, 4. rinse off

Pros: fast and easy, removes face makeup completely

Cons: it left my skin totally dehydrated. Strong, cheap scent which I hate. Also, this doesn't remove eye makeup since it's a foaming cleanser.

sjal (pictured on left above)

Texture: thick gel

Steps: 1. dampen face, 2. dispense 1 pump of product, 3. smooth all over face, 4. rinse off

Pros: the gel texture doesn't dry out my skin yet cleanses face makeup completely. Lightest citrus scent. This cleanser can be used on the body also.

Cons: eye makeup has to be removed separately as this cleanser cannot be used on the eyes.

Rodial (picture on right above)

Texture: thick balm

Steps: 1. apply 1 pump of product on dry face, 2. massage, 3. leave on for a few minutes, 4. wipe off excess and rinse off, or wipe off with damp warm cloth

Pros: this is an all-natural treatment cleanser which you can leave on the face to let the pomegranate extract to treat hyperpigmentation. Removes face makeup completely.

Cons: strong pomegranate scent for those who don't like this fruit.

Taer Icelandic Complete Cleanse (sorry, not pictured)

Texture: milky emulsion

Steps: 1. massage a quarter-sized amount onto dry face, 2. leave on for a few minues, 3. wipe off and rinse off

Pros: this is also an all-natural, treatment cleanser that contains yarrow extract from Iceland. Removes face and eye makeup completely. Ceramic bottle can be recycled or re-used.

Cons: need to wipe off excess before rinsing off. Strong scent due to powerful herbal extracts. No pump dispenser, can get messy.


Have an Olive or Two

Tagged by the lovely "Olive":

What is your current obsession?
Cutting sugar out of my diet.

What is your weirdest obsession?
Wasn't that weird enough?

What are you wearing today?
Gauze cotton t-shirt, Diesel jeans, Adidas sneakers

What's your favorite comfort food?

What would make today special?
If a friend of mine who's very sick gets well suddenly

What would you like to learn to do?
Play the piano

What's the last thing you bought?
Lunch, lol

What are you listening to right now?
Sounds of ocean waves on a CD

What is your favorite weather?
A little cool

What is your most challenging goal right now?
Not to stress out when I don't need to

What do you think about the person who tagged you?
Olivia seems like a real warm person!

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Lake Como

What would you like to have in your hands at right now?
A pug!

If you could swap lives with anyone for one day who would it be & why?
I'm really drawing a blank on this one.

If you would go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Which language do you wanna learn?
Arabic would be really useful

What do you look for in a friend?
Respect! People don't seem to have that for anyone anymore.

Who do you want to meet in person?

What's your favorite type of music?

What's your dream job?
A professional pianist maybe

Any favorite model?
Du Juan

If you had $100 now what would you spend it on?
Diesel denim skirt

Things you wish you could change in the past?
Wow, are these questions from a shrink?!

Fashion Pet Peeve?
Gypsy-style long skirt, lol...

Do you admire anyone's style?
Carla Bruni

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Green apple gelato

What's your favorite makeup brand?
Don't have one, just because I choose from product to product regardless of the brand

Do you get enough beauty sleep? yes or no? why?
Oh YEA, I make sure I get at least 8 hours every night

Why did you start your (beauty) blog?
Cos I've nothing better to do!


Knackered and Relaxed

I hope you're having a good weekend. This past week, I went to a special event. Villa Principe Leopoldo in Lugano, Switzerland, has been completely restored and I was invited to an opening gala dinner. Sponsored by the Swiss watchmaker Parmigiani, the dinner was held in the ballroom of this 75-room hotel and residence. I just scanned the photo from a pamphlet here for you first.

The property was on top of a hill so you can imagine the view, but when I got there it was dark already. It was a fun and jolly event. The General Manager sat with us, and I sat between the Ambassador to the Republic of Malta and his wife. I asked, "Would you like to sit together?" But apparently they preferred chatting to their own friends at the table :-) We had goose liver with pear confit, a scampi risotto, and ham with veggies. The dessert was a strawberry-themed combination of ice-cream, creme brulee and mousse, very cute.

The wonderful dinner ended at around midnight. By the time I settled down at home it was 2 a.m. already. I should be getting the official photos next week.

So, back to beauty!

I believe I've talked about Cowshed in the past, but its Relaxing Bath Salt is really worth a special mentioning.

The lavendar aroma is almost overwhelming. Run a hot bath and the vapour will fill your bathroom with an amazing perfume.
The texture is not exactly salt, but it's like bits and crumbles that melt immediately in the water. The salt is also a bit soapy so it's a very gentle cleanser. I usually rinse it off in the end just to be sure.

As someone who is obsessed with au naturel stuff, my haircare routine is very simple: Klorane Almond Milk shampoo and Cowshed Softening Conditioner.

Like most natural shampoos, this one doesn't foam a lot, but it leaves my hair squeaky clean. (The Phyto shampoo for oily hair didn't work out after all.) The conditioner is very rich so a little is enough. It completely smoothes out my hair, making it easy to comb.

Reading reviews of Guerlain products from our American bloggers, I realized the markup is incredible! In France/Italy, a four-eyeshadow palette is about 40-43 euro. In the U.S. it gets to almost 60 USD.


Reply to Xevia

Hi Xevia, yes the Shiseido White Lucent moisturizer is good for combination skin also. I'd say I have normal to oily skin and it works just fine for me. The moisturizer has a very runny texture so it's not too creamy. It contains many plant extracts, and dries to a matte finish on the skin. Let me know if you're still interested.


Sunny Monday

Today is still public holiday in Italy. I've fully enjoyed this four-day weekend. Tomorrow I will be back to the madness at work.

The weather was perfect so I went on a day trip to Lake Como. You know the lake is y-shaped, the city of Como is on one leg of the "y". I went to Lecco, a city on the other side of the "y".
Surrounded by mountains, the lake was beautiful. There was a good breeze so it got a bit chilly. I got there around 11a.m. and enjoyed most of the afternoon there. It's just 40 minutes by train from Milan.

I'm still trying to figure out what this statue was. It must have been a pope. It was out in the water, unreachable from the path around the lake.


Black Monday

My deepest condolences to those who lost their lives in L'Aquila, Italy, after the earthquake during the early hours today. The thousands of people who lost their homes will have to rebuild their lives soon.


Easy Saturday

Thank you for all the new followers that have come on board lately!

I hope everyone's having a good weekend.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who experience bad customer service mentioned in the last post. In the end I did walk out of the shop with two Shiseido products: the cream eyeliner and Perfect Rouge lipstick.

So I'm glad to tell you that I LOVE the liner. It stays put all day as long as I apply powder before and after on the eyelids.

The Madina bronzer that I tried out this past week was also great. For now, I'm just using it to contour. Here I highlighted my cheeks too. It's subtle, but I hope you can see.

Today I was determined to have a different kind of Saturday so I decided to try the Thai massage place downstairs from where I live and do my own hair colour (not pictured above).

Sorry I didn't take photos so you will just have to imagine "The Orchids" massage place with dim lights and the typical Thai decor. It was cozy. I asked for a traditional massage that focused on pressure points. It was different from the Chinese massage that I knew. The Thai masseuse was tiny, but she could really hurt you, lol. Just half an hour of treatment, I came out of the place like butter and couldn't walk a straight line :-)

But I did zig-zag my way to the pharma-cosmetics shop and got a vegetable extract hair colour in a dark hazelnut. May I say that I will never do this again by myself at home, because it's just such a mess. I think I did it right though. The colour is luminous and beautiful, and best of all, it doesn't have ammonium and parabens!