The Good and Not So Good Face Sunscreens

Because sun exposure is very ageing to our skin as well as the risk of skin cancers and many of us are already aware of this. There are many factors that cause your skin to age faster but I’m just going to skip that part because we should already know a lot of them. Just remember, sunscreen is a must and you need at least SPF15 and above for a daily use. However, not all of them are safe to use so it’s a must you need to know and avoid those toxic ones. So what is considered a good sunscreen to me?

First of all, it protects our skin from UVA, UVB and Infrared. The higher SPF, the better protection for your skin? No, not really true. It must not be oily and doesn’t clog pores or give breakouts. It should also help makeup to stay in place after applying or doesn’t ruin it at least. And most importantly, safe to use of course. Now let me give some reviews on the ones I have used/been using. Please kindly take notes that these reviews are purely based on my personal experiences and they may not have the same effects on everyone.

1. Biore UV PPerfect Face Milk SPF50+ 

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Another favourite sunscreen as of now. The texture is very light with fast absorption. I thought it would be quite greasy after a short while and not so suitable for my combination skin but I was wrong. It doesn’t ruin my makeup too. Reasonable price. I hope it comes up with the new upgraded formula in the near future. I will repurchase this or their upgraded formula.

2. Nivea Oil Control Sun Protection Serum SPF50PA+++

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The texture is quite light and it only takes a short while for this serum to be fully absorbed into my skin. It can control oil in a certain level but not for many hours. I’m still not sure if I get breakouts from this or not. But the price is very affordable so I think it’s alright for this quality. Will I repurchase this? No. But I would say I found a few other Nivea body sunscreen and body lotion products are quite good.

3. Anessa Whitening Essence Facial UV Sunscreen

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My current favourite sunscreen. I love its texture, fast absorption as well as how it helps my makeup to stay in place. I can go at least 4-5 hours without feeling greasy at all. I will repurchase this product.

4. Estetica Sunshield Aqua SPF50

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I got this after a spa session at Estetica beauty Plaza Singapura. What I like most about this product is the instant brightening effect right after applying with non-sticky and light texture. I can use this alone instead of putting a foundation after to go for a very natural look. The cons about this product? My makeup cannot really stay in place after this sunscreen. I still like it anyway.

5. Keihl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50 

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The good thing is their cream is pretty rich but I find it too heavy on my skin. It also makes my skin greasy after awhile and doesn’t really help with holding makeup. It’s alright if I plan to go on bare face but not with my makeup on. I personally think it doesn’t work well on (prone to)oily skin. Although I like a lot of skincare products from this brand but I will give it a pass for this sunscreen.

6. Mizumi UV Water Serum SPF 50+

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This one is actually not bad but I think I prefer other sunscreens I already have than this one. It doesn’t give me breakouts but I find it can be quite greasy easily if I stay outdoor for long hours.

When I find ones that are not so good for putting on my face, I put them on my body instead. I hope my reviews help you find the most suitable sunscreen for yourself.

Love, nira

The 5 Expensive Beauty Products Worth Buying

When you spend money on something, you want to make sure it’s worth your money at least. Unfortunately, not everything expensive is considered good. Sometime it’s expensive because you are paying for the branding, marketing costs, years of R&D etc. There are costs I’ve been paying for experiences before I found some that are worth buying. This is not an advertorial and these reviews are purely based on my personal opinions.

So this post I’m going to share with you some of the expensive products I could recommend. However, I suggest you to consider buying a tester (if they do have) before purchasing some of the products below because everybody has a different skin tone, individual texture and types. Cut short, here we go. 

1. Sisley – Emulsion Ecologique Day and Night Lotion

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One of the best moisturizer products that I always repurchase when it’s finished. It moisturizes and smoothen my skin very well as well as giving a healthy look. You wouldn’t see the results until one week of using it regularly but it depends on an individual. Although I do not use this everyday but at least 4-5 times a week, I can still see the differences between using and not using it. The reason why I do not use this everyday because I have many others (new) moisturizers wanting to try or trying now.

The only downside I do not really like about this product is a slight oily feeling after 3-4 hours of application. If I want my make up to last longer in a daytime, I will not go for it and preferably apply it before bedtime. But again, it really depends on types of skin. I still love this Sisley Emulsion very much and this is one of the few products I keep buying for my parents because they too love it.

2. La Mer – The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF20

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Foundation is one of the makeup products I spend the most on. Because I’m considered VERY PICKY when it comes to choosing a foundation that suits my needs and reach my expectation. You hardly see me writing reviews on foundation because of that. However, I’m impressed by this La Mer foundation because of its weightless texture which is easily blending and healing hydration at the same time. I dislike anything that is too heavy. My skin looks naturally flawless after applying and my makeup stays well for at least 4 hours. Pores too look more refined.

Comes in 15 shades. However, I personally find this product is not really good enough for a full-coverage look if you are planning a night out.

3. Giorgio Armani – Power Fabric LONGWEAR HIGH COVER Foundation SPF25

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I have a combination skin with an oily T zone and and areas around my cheeks. This foundation works great on my skin. It feels very light and not too heavy. The texture is so smooth and easily blends into my skin. Even though it’s stated to use for full coverage but I think it works perfectly for both day time to go for a natural look or a night out for a more full-coverage finish.

All I need for my entire face is just one small drop to give a flawless look with a bit of powdery finish to it. Comes in 24 shades so your skin tone will surely find one that matches perfectly. I’m in love with quite a number of Armani’s makeup products and this is one of the tops.

4. La Prairie – White Caviar Illuminating Moisturizing Cream

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I think this is one the most expensive moisturizers I have bought so far. Slightly more expensive than Skin Caviar Luxe cream because of slightly different ingredients. White Caviar cream includes White Sturgen (fish eggs) which is very rich in omega (3 times than an average) and rare to find. I’m a sucker for whitening products so I prefer White Caviar. For the first time I applied this at night, my skin was really glowing the next morning. Dark spots from acne scars slowly disappear and leave my skin’s natural glow and bright. My mum thought I have been going to a facial treatment as she noticed some changes.

I use tiny amount of this cream before bedtime because they are so rich but not everyday (sometimes I switch to Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, which is definitely another worth buying skincare product). If I remember correctly I bought this more than half a year and I just finished it last month. The only con you may find is probably their price. I love their luxurious jar packaging but it’s still considered very expensive. I’d still put it in this post because I like the results. I strongly recommend a sample to try at least 1-2 weeks before you consider purchasing this.

5. Shiseido – Revitalizing Essence

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This heavy red glass bottle of Essence works good for my combination skin. My all time favourite toner and also one of the very few toners I have been using (on and off) for years. I will use it at least 4-5 days in a week (morning and night) especially when my skin is getting dry during winter. I can easily feel the hydration it gives to my skin yet leaving no greasy or sticky feeling. One excellent product to be in a skincare routine. And yes, I will always repurchase this product.

Those are the top 5 I could share now. More updates will come.

I will end this post with small useful tips. You can actually try to ask for some available testers whenever you purchase something from the counters. Some countries (or malls) will give them even without you asking. But please do not expect them to do so if you only spend a few bucks. Hope it helps.

Love, nira

Wake up to better skin, Estee Lauder x Nira

Waking up to a dull and lifeless skin often make us look tired and old. I understand we sometime cannot avoid keeping ourselves up at night, whether it’s stress, ages, or not. But it’s definitely one of the reasons for getting in the way of our best skin in the next morning. Sometimes I couldn’t even look myself in the eyes in the mirror.

Just like everyone else, I’ve had my fair share of unwanted skin problems too.

If I do not get enough sleep, I’d probably wake up to less-than-radiant looking skin. As well as the healing and repairing process of my skin with blemishes which used to be quite fast without permanent scars but not so now. Therefore, it’s leading to a complexion to be blotchy and uneven skin tone. Although wrinkles are not my main problem as of now but it’s starting to show very slowly. My skin is also very sensitive and it could be pretty tricky when it comes to shopping for skincare products and find ones which suit me. 

I’m pretty happy to be a part of this Estee Lauder campaign to recommend you one of the best serums worth having in your skincare routine at night, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. 

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After using Advance Night Repair for less than a week, I noticed some changes in those problem acne scars as they seem to be lighter and less redness or blotchy. It didn’t give me breakouts or irritate my sensitive skin either. What I love the most is how it makes my skin so soft and smooth especially in the next morning after I wake up. A healthy and radiant looking skin in the mirror I see; a happier me throughout the day. Although I personally do not like its scent but I like the richness and texture of this serum very much.

It’s not my first bottle and I’ve been using it for years. Just that I have a habit of trying new products (or mix&match different brands) so I am not being consistently used it everyday but I would repurchase when it’s finished. I bought for my mom too and she mentioned about her improvement in less noticeable wrinkles and much smoother skin.

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Not surprising why there are many good reviews or being one of the best-selling skincare products from Estee Lauder.

It’s recommended to applying before your other moisturizers but sometime I just use it alone at night before bedtime if I have a pretty long day outside. But no matter how tired I am, I will not skip at least one moisturizer before bedtime. It’s so important to take good care of your skin no matter what age you are at now.

Shop your favourite Estee Lauder Products from here! All their products selling in Sephora website are 100% authentic so you won’t put your own skin at any risks. You can also follow their instagram account @sephorasg and stay up-to-date to their latest promotions or products.

Work hard, play hard and shop harder. Happy shopping! x

Love, nira

Urban Decay’s 2014 Holiday Collection

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What is the first thing that comes into your mind when we talk about nude eyeshadow palettes? To me, it’s the Naked Palette by Urban Decay, one of my most favourite nude shades of eyeshadow ever. I’ve been in love with the brand right after I tried their first amazing palette. Don’t you think there is something about their palettes that is always leave you wanting MORE. That is why I’m so excited to introduce to you ladies their latest products and what I created this look with.

Let start with VICE3, with even prettier shades that comes in 20 velvety, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN shades from an amazing soft black and a stunning burgundy to a rich, smokey red-black. It includes a huge mirror and a double-ended brush which comes in a matching bag to keep a palette protected.

What I love most is their great variety and selection of these beautiful shades which I can use it all the time on the different occasions and of course moods. Do you know that they were developing 50 shades to get these perfect 20 in order? Honestly I can’t really tell what colour is my most favourite because there are too many in my mind.

However, I will pick a few shades to create a different look from my daily natural makeup look. Like this.

In details. I basically use these three shades in order; LAST SIN (champagne shimmer) for the highlight, BROKEDOWN (metallic golden brown shimmer) to add a little glam and VANITY (smoky metallic eggplant) to create a mystery feel. Do not forget a very thin line of black eyeliner for both top and bottom too.

I love these combinations. It’s perfect for a party or even a date.

But if if you want to go for a natural, light and clean makeup look like I always do, you can go for shades such as TRUTH (pale pink-nude matte), UNDONE (pink-beige matte-satin with subtle floating tonal pearl), and DOWNFALL (warm light brown matt).

All the shades is rich in color, easily blend in, and give a metallic finish.

Next, Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder for Face and Body

This lightweight, baked powder with a microfine shimmer is perfect for a quick sexy Naked glow. It’s smooth and silky in textures which contains light-reflecting particles that give you a luminous, radiant look.

I like how the size of their brush fits my palm well; making it easy for me to use even if I’m in a rush. And I’d personally prefer to use it to highlight my cheekbone areas.

In this picture, I’m using AURA shade to create a warm gold on my face. They comes in two shades; LUMINOUS (champagne shimmer with iridescent shimmer) and AURA (soft pink shimmer with golden iridescent sparkle).

Vice3 is selling at SGD88 and Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder at SGD43 available from end of October at Sephora. Look out for more of their latest products and get tempted. x

Love, nira

Review: Anna Sui SS14 Beauty Collection

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Dear readers, I’m back for another cosmetic review.

My girl just started her playschool and I am going to have more time for myself to concentrate on my certain projects and hopefully blog more than I used to. I know I will miss her eventually when it finally happens. But well, she is growing well and I’m happy.

Anyway, back to our beauty topic. I’m about to introduce you a few products from a Spring Summer 2014 Anna Sui collection that comes with even prettier packaging which is coherent with the overall Anna Sui style.

Let’s start with their lip gloss.

1) Protective Lip Gloss (the one with a white cap) with SPF 20 helps to protect your lips from dryness, UV rays. It also has Ultra-Hydrating Plumping Oil effect that keeps your lips moisturized and protected from dryness. It comes in 9 shades

2) Glittering Lip Gloss (with a black cap) with clear oil base formula with Smooth Staying Gel that is highly transparent yet it’s a thick film that gives a smooth, shiny, glittery, and the mirror-like finish. It’s easy to spread all over your lips too. It also comes in 13 shades.

Both selling at SGD33

My favourite colour for protective lip gloss (left) is 701. I personally prefer to wear it alone but you can also wear it over lipstick if you wish to. And this is how it looks like after I applied two layers without lip base, concealer etc.

I love this shade as it compliments my skin tone as well as good for everyday wear. The shiny plumping effect is just great. (Scroll up to the very first image in this entry to see how I look in overall with this shade)

And for Glittering Lip Gloss, I chose shade 300. Woman can never have too many pink really. I prefer wearing this glittery pink shade over soft colour lipstick but then again, you can wear it alone if you want to.

3) Rose Cheek Color N comes as a bouquet of beautiful roses, my favourite flower. In one compact, it combines four bright vivid colours and pastel colours all together. This makes it so easy to mis and blend to create blooming looking cheeks. You can also use one shade alone to create your personal look. This compact is designed for many uses such as colouring, shading, contouring or highlighting.

I picked 400. We ladies can never ever have too many pink.

If you want to try all the colours (or more than one colours) at once, I strongly recommend you to use brush and take small amount, apply on the back of your hand before you apply to cheeks or desired areas. I use one to two colours as for eyeshadow as well. This way it works well with finger tips.

This is another look with 400 Rose Cheek Color for cheeks and a little bit for eyeshadow and 300 Glittering Lip Gloss (after lip base).

I hope you find this review useful. Thank you for reading and many thanks to Anna Sui team for always keeping (and supplying) me up to date to your new ranges even though I’m always out of town.

Love, nira