Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yuan Soap Momordica Travel Set

From knocking on doors of shops and stores with bags of soaps, Yuan Soap from Taiwan is now an internationally acclaimed brand with a variety of personal care products and teas under its belt.

As of now, Yuan Soap has three skincare ranges: Alpinia Speciosa (dry and ageing skin), Momordica (normal and brightening) and Bidens Pilosa (combination and oily skin). Due on my concerns, I got to trial Momordica. Did it leave a lasting impression? You will get to the answer in a bit!

Name: Yuan Soap 阿原肥皂
Price: RM 179 for the following
Momordica Restoring Toner 苦瓜素面水 50 ml
Momordica Restoring Serum 苦瓜菁華還原露 8 ml
Momordica Restoring Cream 苦瓜還原霜 8 g
Made in: Taiwan

Even without the frills, simplistic packaging can be both effective and beautiful. The clean, clinical lines earned my faith right from the start.

Momordica Restoring Toner (RM 159/150 ml) helps to give my skin an extra boost of moisture, leaving it supple and soft. At first I was flummoxed by the starchy, freshly diced raw potatoes scent, but I got used to it after a few days.

The full ingredient list for Momordica Restoring Toner:
Momordica Charantia Fruit Extract, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Momordica Restoring Serum (RM 259/30 ml) is very moisturising yet penetrates easily and does not feel greasy on the skin.

The full ingredient list for Momordica Restoring Serum:
Water, Momordica Charantia Fruit Extract, Propanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Glycosyl Trehalose, Olivoyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Tranexamic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glutathione, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Saxifraga Sarmentosa Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Acetyl Tyrosine, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, Sucrose Dilaurate, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Arbutin, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Momordica Restoring Cream (RM 309/50 g) is light and almost a little gel-like in consistency. Once absorbed, it leaves my skin silky smooth and soft to the touch. And like the serum, it shares the same natural herbaceous fragrance.

The full ingredient list for Momordica Restoring Cream:
Water, Propanediol, Triticum Aestivum (Wheat) Seed Extract, Glycerin, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Olivate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables, Sorbitan Olivate, Tranexamic Acid, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Tyrosine, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Oil, Arbutin, Glutathione, Momordica Charantia Fruit Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, Sucrose Dilaurate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

I realised the cause for the price point once the science behind the products were divulged. The ingredients, most notably the precious plant oils, are extracted using a cold press technique (no heat and solvent). For those of you not in the know, cold-pressed oils have all their natural properties intact.

The ingredients are then synthesised into nano-sized particles. The small size of the nanoparticles (compared to particles in conventional emulsions) allows easy nutrient delivery to the skin, thus increasing efficacy. The awesome technology and the care that goes into these products ensure the manufacture of exceptional products.

I believe that Yuan Soap has a concept that resonates with women everywhere and stands out from the typical brands offered at the department stores.

Convinced? Shop here!

Disclosure: Press sample.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Gucci Made To Measure Eau De Toilette

The fragrance I am reviewing today really took me by surprise. It took me a few moments to adjust to the opening notes but it managed to reel me in quickly.

Meet Gucci's new Made to Measure!

Name: Gucci 구찌 Made to Measure 메이드 투 메져 Eau de Toilette 오 드 뚜왈렛
Price: RM 252 for 50 ml
Made in: UK

The Fragrance
Made to Measure is a clean, refreshing and slightly flowery fragrance that somehow borders on gourmand (promise I was not starving when I plastered my nose to my wrist!). It is one of those scents that I can't stop smelling when I am wearing it.

At a glance:-
◆ Top notes: Calabrian Bergamot, Tunisian Orange Flower, French Lavender, Anis Seed
◆ Heart notes: Sri Lankan Nutmeg, Water Lily, Juniper Berry, Plum, Cinnamon
◆ Base notes: Cistus Labdanum, Patchouli, Leather, Amber

With notes of Tunisian Orange Flower, Water Lily and Plum I can understand why it would appeal to both sexes. To be clear, it is still a man's fragrance, but one that you would want to share with him.

The Flacon
It arrives in a weighty glass flacon with hand-brushed golden accents. The cap, decorated by the iconic horsebit, is sturdy, and lends credence to the stylish image Gucci is trying to portray.

The Collection
Made to Measure is readily available at major department stores and perfumeries:-
◆ Made To Measure EdT 30 ml RM 198
◆ Made To Measure EdT 50 ml RM 252
◆ Made To Measure EdT 90 ml RM 330
◆ Made To Measure Aftershave Lotion 90 ml RM 233
◆ Made To Measure All-over Shampoo 150 ml RM 112
◆ Made To Measure Deodorant Stick 75 g RM 101

The Composition
The full ingredient list for Made to Measure:-
Alcohol Denat., Aqua (Water), Parfum (Fragrance), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Methylparaben, BHT, Limonene, Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citronellol, Coumarin, Cinnamal Citral, Eugenol, Geraniol, CI 17200 (Red 33), CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 19140 (Yellow 5).

I would thoroughly recommend trying Made To Measure if you get the chance; it is undeniably unusual yet versatile. And who knows? You might be inclined to buy this for the special man in your life or even yourself!

Disclosure: Press sample.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Etude House & Rose Review: & Rose Drawing Show Creamy Pencil, & Rose Flowering Nails

There is quite a lot of love going around for the & Rose collection and I am here to join the fun. Fear not, this is not the final chapter in the & Rose series on my blog because I have purchased MORE Rosy Lip Tints. Haha!

& Rose Drawing Show Creamy Pencil

Name: Etude House 에뛰드하우스 & Rose Drawing Show Creamy Pencil 앤로즈 드로잉쇼 크리미 펜슬
Price: ₩ 6,000 for 1.9 g
Made in: Korea

The two shades sent to me are BE103 Creamy Romance 크리미 로맨스 (shimmery buff) and BR404 Sunset Brown 선셋 브라운 (matte chocolate brown).

BE103 - BR404

These liners are creamy and blessed with a decent colour payoff.

BE103 - BR404

BE103 hardly deposits any colour on my lids which is weird considering how well it swatched on my hands, paper etc. BR404 is long-lasting and holds up well in unfavourable conditions (high temperature, high relative humidity, oily lids) but failed the smudge-proof test once it came in contact with my waterline. Nothing ever stays there, so this outcome does not surprise me.

BR404 is set in place with the darkest colour in Lunasol Skin Modeling Eyes Beige Beige which explains the presence of glitters

There are two other colours:

& Rose Flowering Nails

Name: Etude House 에뛰드하우스 & Rose Flowering Nails 앤로즈 플라워링 네일즈 1 Watery Rose 워터리로즈
Price: ₩ 6,000 for 1 box (7 ml ×2)
Made in: Korea

1 Watery Rose comes in a set with two gorgeous polishes: No.1 Dewy Rose 듀이로즈 and No.2 Rosy Blossom 로지블라썸.

No.1 Dewy Rose, an ivory with small fuchsia bits, is a vision over dark polishes.

No.1 Dewy Rose - layered on top of a black polish

No.2 Rosy Blossom is sheer rose jelly. It is a beauty and I think that this particular shade of pink will flatter most (if not all) skintones.

No.2 Rosy Blossom - layered on top of a white polish

This set is furnished with a sheet of white lace stickers. I won't be using it, however, it will be nice to have around in case I ever decide to be adventurous with my nails. I will definitely get a backup for Watery Rose when I come across it in stores (yes, it is that lovely!).

2 Velvet Rose 벨벳로즈 is also delightful, but my heart belongs to its sister:

The & Rose collection is an absolute gem, and you need to locate it at the Etude House outlets near you!

(Source: Promotional images are from

Disclosure: Pink Bird samples.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Etude House & Rose Flowering Eyes

Etude House has been on fire for the past few months (fabulous releases, one after another), so I was understandably excited when the & Rose Flowering Eyes palette landed in my mailbox.


Name: Etude House 에뛰드하우스 & Rose Flowering Eyes 앤로즈 플라워링 아이즈
Price: ₩ 20,000 for 1 g (×10)
Made in: Korea

The compact is well made, has a nicely sized mirror and houses excellent sponge tip applicators.

The palette comes with ten eyeshadow colours in total and they all bear their own names:-

◆ Falling (shimmer): golden copper
◆ Fade (matte): dark tan
◆ Innocent (matte): buff
◆ Delight (matte): apricot
◆ Pure (shimmer): beige
◆ Romance (shimmer): melon pink
◆ Blossom (matte): burgundy
◆ Petal (matte): persian orange
◆ Gloomy (matte): pansy purple
◆ Poison (shimmer): mauve brown

Falling - Fade - Innocent - Delight - Pure

Falling - Fade - Innocent - Delight - Pure

Romance - Blossom - Petal - Gloomy - Poison

Romance - Blossom - Petal - Gloomy - Poison

As expected, the pigmentation is exceptional and they have buttery smooth textures. I enjoy using this palette and will most likely reach for it often over the next couple of months. You should give it a look if you want to indulge in the hottest colours this season without spending a pretty penny.

Stay tuned for the final part, which will be posted here in six days' time!

Disclosure: Pink Bird sample.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Etude House Rosy Tint Lips Baby Peony & After Blossom

The new & Rose collection for fall 2013 is inspired by the dreamy fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty. This campaign is represented by 4 rose-themed products and I am kick-starting a slew of reviews with the product that got my salivary glands working overtime - Rosy Tint Lips. In my humble opinion, it is the star of the & Rose collection.

Name: Etude House 에뛰드하우스 Rosy Tint Lips 로지 틴트 립스
Price: ₩ 8,500 for 7 g
Made in: Korea

Rosy Tint Lips come in a plastic tube with an innovative sponge tip applicator. The round and wide tip is straight, which means it lacks precision and isn't conducive for following the contours of the lips. You will get better results if you fill the tint in with a lip brush. Nonetheless, it is handy in spreading the product on the lips for gradient looks.

It doesn't take much to get the product to flow out smoothly but my opinion will change a few months down the road. Squeezing every last bit out is going to be a laborious and daunting process...

5 Baby Peony 베이비 피오니 is a feminine rosy pink. It is very flattering when used moderately because it leans slightly on the neon side when I get too heavy handed.

8 After Blossom 애프터 블라썸 is a seductive burgundy red. It gives a mature vibe and is not a colour that will fit everyone.

Side by side:

5 Baby Peony - 8 After Blossom

Like Etude House's other lip products, the tints are quite heavily fragranced. This time around they gave us a new scent - rose - and as mentioned in many older posts, it is a scent that I am fond of. So no complaints here. Haha!

Denser than a gloss, with the rich colour payoff of a lipstick and the velvety feel of a balm, these creamy tints are long-lasting, lightweight and dry down to an appealing matte finish. And while the colour remains vibrant on the lips, it has the tendency to transfer onto mugs, spoons etc.

A bonus: these tints work in a pinch to provide a pretty flush of colour to the cheeks.

5 Baby Peony - 8 After Blossom

Packaging aside, I am really impressed with these tints.

(Source: Promotional images are from

Disclosure: Pink Bird samples.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 2013 Vanity Trove

Vanity Trove stepped up their game when they announced the conception of personalised boxes. This box is my first box since they made the change, and boy was I thrilled when it came in the mail.

The first product that went into my cart was Kose Infinity Pure Advance Serum II (30 ml). It was featured in an older trove, and I liked it so much that I had to get another bottle. When I run out, I will definitely get a full size!

Next up is Elizabeth Arden Visible Whitening Melanin Control Night Capsules (7 capsules). The name itself is attraction grabbing, plus I enjoyed my Ceramide capsules so I figured that I should give this variant a look.

On to the stuff I am most excited about, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse (10 ml) and Nuxe Nuxellence Jeunesse (15 ml). They have been on my wishlist for the longest time and getting to trial them before I invest is both good (what if I hate them?) and bad (what if I love them?) news for my wallet.

Last but not least, I ended up with two miniatures - Initatic Energizing Smoothing Fluid (10 ml) and Coherence L.IR Day & Night Lifting Cream (15 ml) - from Lierac. I am new to this brand but I trust that they will deliver. All Lierac has to do is hint at a French heritage and I will blindly follow haha.

This month's Vanity Trove was an excellent one because the products were all up my alley despite the teeny-tiny sizes. Isn't it obvious why? They were all handpicked by yours truly!

Disclosure: Press sample.