Hello Beautiful

My name is Tammy and I've been blogging for over 8 years now. I started blogging because I wanted to share my beauty hauls and lifestyle experiences. I'm also a pro-consumer, which is probably the fire in my life.

This blog is now happily written by the cutest couple you've ever seen. Gareth's Irish while I'm Malaysian. We met in the most unexpected way possible and since then have been in a loving relationship. He loves to eat, drink and try new exciting things (even extreme sports) while I love the quieter things in life, like spas, massages, shopping and beauty! But we have something in common, we both love travelling.
  • Top 10 Female Bloggers Msia
  • Founder of The Butterfly Project Malaysia
  • Winner of Cleo's Next Top Blogger Msia

The Face Shop Yehwadam Pure Brightening Review


What's New in K-Beauty?

The Face Shop recently released their brightening line under the Yehwadam collection which boasts luxurious looking skin care products with ingredients inspired by tradition and beauty secrets passed down. The brightening line called Yehwadam Pure Brightening is formulated especially for Asian skin to reveal brighter and more radiant skin. It also has anti-aging properties which make it a double hit wonder if you're looking to be a beautiful blushing bride this year or a more radiant youthful complexion.

Anti-Wrinkle + Brightening

the meaning of Yehwadam

Does Yehwadam mean anything?
The name Yehwadam means YE (蘂): herbs and plants HWA (花): flower DAM (譚): story. Inspired by stories of beautiful Korean women and their beauty secrets passed down through generations. 

Yehwadam Pure Brightening Line
The unique thing about this brightening line is that it's formulated with "Chil-baek-seol-yun-dan Complex". I know this sounds a handful, but let me explain what it is. It's a formula made using 7 traditional medicinal herbs to restore skin's radiance and to minimised skin aging. The 7 herbs are Pearl, white Poria (Fu Ling), Atractylodes Macrocephala (Bai Zhu), white Ginseng, Honeysuckle, Szechuan Lovage Root (Chuan Xiong) and Peony. In addition, the herbs are harvested in Korean soil using the "Baek-ja" method which is a method where natural ingredients are boiled in pure water for a long period of time in order to maximise the efficacy and eliminate toxins that could irritate your body. This allows nutrients to be better absorb so you reap all the benefits of the herbs used.

Major ingredients:
Chil-baek-seol-yun-dan Complex (7 traditional herbs for skin brightening)
Niacinamide : skin brightening
Adenosine: anti-wrinkle

What is it for?
  • improve skin tone
  • reduce the appearance of pigmentation and dark spots
  • bring healthy beautiful radiance back
  • minimised aging skin
Chil-baek-seol-yun-dan Complex

beautiful packaging, ideal as gifts too

luxury you can afford

One thing that stands out is the beautiful packaging Yehwadam comes in. Like all premium or luxury skincare products, the distinguishable elements are obvious - simple, minimalist with unique features if any. With a pearly white body, hard shell and silver finishings (aluminum) the cap/lid stands out the most. At the top of it, intricate Korean traditional flower patterns engraved on it. Feel it with your fingers, and you'll be tracing the outlines of the patterns. In the center, one single crystal is placed to complete its aesthetic design.

the 3D engraved Korean traditional floral patterns

one crystal is placed at the top

so you can shine bright like a diamond

The line consists of four essential products namely - toner, serum, emulsion, and cream. Which I will give a brief breakdown overview of each product, its features, and my first impressions.  I have been using it for about two weeks now which isn't enough to make a conclusive review but I'll still add my mini reviews on it - impression base. The steps to use them is after cleansing and double cleansing to remove all makeup or sunscreen residue, start with the toner followed by serum and either emulsion or cream (depending on your skin needs).

The emulsion is a lotion based moisturizer, ideal for day time use while the cream is thicker and richer best used for evening skincare regime before sleeping.

How To Use?

toner - serum - emulsion - cream

YEHWADAM Pure Brightening Toner 155ml @ RM158.90

The toner is made of glass with a faint white floral musk to it. It's a hydrating toner with a soft and translucent formulation to it. I use this with a cotton pad to apply on my face after cleansing. The toner isn't watery, it has hydrating properties so it feels soft, nourishing and refreshing to the skin. I get an immediate radiance from using this! This has become my favorite from this line. I almost didn't believe this is a whitening toner.
  • Brightening + anti-aging + intense moisturizing toner
  • Brightens face by leaving a healthy glow
  • Lightweight and silky texture that glides on softly
How To Use?
Every morning and evening, after cleansing face, apply adequate amount on face and pat lightly for absorption.

YEHWADAM Pure Brightening Serum 45ml @ RM254.30

This serum comes in a plastic bottle (I think) so it's lighter in weight compared to the toner and the emulsion. The serum is white in color with a milky lotion texture which turns watery upon application. It's light and soft on the skin, no sticky or heavy feeling. The scent is pretty strong (floral musk scent) which puts me off. The serum claims to moisturize the skin, reduce dullness and the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots and pigmentations. 

I was pleasantly surprised that I can see an immediate shine due to the shimmering essence! It's like a pearly translucent glimmer. Makes you feel like this is made for a mermaid.
  • Instant brightening effect
  • soft & fresh finish
  • intense & lasting moisturizing effect
  • soft, silky, luminous texture
How To Use?
After applying toner, dispense an adequate amount and gently apply on the face in an outward direction.

YEHWADAM Pure Brightening Emulsion 140ml @ RM158.90

The lightweight emulsion comes in a glass bottle so it's heavy. The texture is fresh, light and silky to the skin. The color is white and the same scent lingers on (not as strong as the serum). It feels soft and moisturizing to the skin like chok-chok skin! (bouncy, baby soft skin).  This brightening emulsion definitely smoothens the skin with a protective layer while giving it a dewy shine so you look fairer. You can use this as a primer so your makeup stays longer!
  • reveal skin's natural brightness
  • anti-aging + moisture retaining emulsion
  • soft & silky texture
How To Use?
After your serum smooth over face and neck using gentle pressing motions to aid absorption.

YEHWADAM Pure Brightening Cream 50ml @ RM254.30

The cream comes in a plastic jar and boasts a bigger lid to display the beautiful designs of the 3D Korean floral patterns on it. When you open the lid, there's another protective cover on the cream with a heart protruding out so it's easy for you to remove the cover. The cream is highly concentrated to deliver instant radiance to the skin. It claims to have special molecule ingredients to help keep skin firm and smooth. Upon application, the cream melts into the skin revealing yet another shiny radiance on my skin! (how many times have I repeated this?!). It's not sticky but there is definitely a slightly greasy feel to it. You can definitely skip the emulsion and go for this if your skin is overly dry. I would prefer to use this at night before I go to sleep so my skin can be "cooked" overnight. The same scent is present.
  • instant brightening effects
  • brightening + anti-aging + intense moisturization cream
  • Soft, silky and creamy texture
How To Use?
Dispense an adequate amount and gently massage over the entire face. Pat your face with palms to aid absorption. This can be used in the evening or after emulsion if you have dry skin.

so are you ready for the bright side?

Overall, I am enjoying my two weeks of using this skincare and am continuing to see if my dark spots and pigmentations can be reduced by daily usage. I like that it's not drying because normally whitening or brightening skincare tends to be drying! This Yehwadam however, is moisturizing! I almost thought it was an anti-aging moisturizing line.

brightening without the dryness

Which comes to another bonus, anti-aging. I'm currently very much into anti-aging products because let's face it, I'm no spring chicken anymore so I like the three-in-one skincare benefits from this Yehwadam Pure Brightening line as it targets signs of aging, brightens and reduces dark spots and pigmentation while keeping my skin hydrated and soft like a Korean chok-chok skin would look like.

I hope to get a clearer face from here because I haven't been religiously using sunscreen (hate using sunscreen because it's sticky and smelly). I'll be entirely honest that this isn't cheap to get, and that if you're looking to invest into brightening, anti-aging skincare, this is a good start as it's still affordable compared to luxury tier skincare brands out there.

Please read reviews, get some samples to test out (sensitivity/etc). Don't just jump into it because the packaging is beautiful (lol). It does make a good wedding or bride-to-be gift if anyone is looking for one. Imagine how the wedding vanity table photos would look?

P.S: I have sensitive skin, but so far I did not get any reactions from using this line for 2 weeks.

The Yehwadam Pure Brightening Line is available at all Face Shop Malaysia stores. You can also visit their online store to purchase it or offline stores which you can refer to their website here for more information. Updates and promotions? Follow their Facebook and Instagram channel.

*prices listed here is with gst.

What I'm Burning: Voluspa Ceramica Alta Saijo Persimmon


Summer Favourite, the Saijo Persimmon
burn time 120hours

From my third Voluspa haul, the first candle I picked to burn was the Saijo Persimmon. It was an instant favorite with me. Even before I burn it, the smell was already winning my nostrils. It had the most attractive scent among the Voluspa haul I purchase. Mind you there are 8 other scents in there but it attributed to the special candle lid design on this one. Called the Ceramica Alta candle or the Ceramic Pillar Scented Candle from Voluspa, it features a lovely ceramic bottle, heavy in weight, firm to the grip and it is big compared to the photographs shown that you would not expect how beautiful it would be until you received it. Modern yet traditional.

a good candle size 19x8x8

The top lid also made of ceramic, is a vented snap close lid allowing the scent even when it's not burnt to disperse out. Doubling as "diffuser" home decoration piece. Only when you need to burn it, the lid must be left open.

The only thing I'm truly disappointed in is that the label, undeniably beautiful vintage collages inspired by each scent in the collection. The label seems to be a sticker or waterproof paper of some sort, wrapped around the body. I notice some ceramic candles in my haul, the label was not evenly done, with a slight protrusion which makes it unsightly. I do wish, it could just be printed onto the ceramic body one way or another to really make this exquisite.

I guess that could be blessing in disguise if you'd want to repurpose them into home decoration or storage pieces by removing the labels.

The scent - Saijo Persimmon, has notes of the finest variety of persimmon layered with peach and red currant. It made me happy because it smells of yummy juicy peaches being squashed and blended into peach tarts. It's not overly sweet but the happy cozy sweet kind. A lovely citrusy fruity scent, suitable for summer. The scent lingers for a couple of hours after burning.

More information about this candle here. Check out my 3rd Voluspa haul here with more pictures of the Ceramica Alta.
All Voluspa scented candles are made with no phthalates, no parabens, no sulfates, no animal testing and 100% cotton wicks for a clean, long lasting burn.

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My Third Voluspa Haul


one haul, 8 candles, worth over rm1.6k

You don't know how obsessed I am with Voluspa right now. My head is filled with Voluspa and every day I can't stop thinking about my precious candles (turns into Gollum's voice). I've liked fragrances for a long time, be it aromatherapy, essential oils, perfumes, diffusers, and well candles. I first discovered Voluspa at Bangsar Village 2 shopping mall at a shop under Ms.Read's parent company. I can't remember the name anymore, they've closed down for many years now. Other places to get your Voluspa fix would be the Voluspa Malaysia at Thimble Boutique. They often have year-end promotions and fund raisers. You can also spot them at quirky bazaars sometimes.

Voluspa is also available at Nordstrom, Lazada, Fashion Valet, UBuy and MySale. Mine is from MySale because they're getting it from Voluspa UK's clearance and I only need to pay RM25 flat rate international shipping (which is by far the best deal). Definitely, do not miss out on promotions if you're planning to stock up on candles, the sale price is almost the same if not better compared to brands such as Bath & Body Works and Yankee Candles. A two-wick Voluspa candle costs over RM200, when you could get it at the clearance price of RM59 only. The burn time is 50hours.

The downside? It's a one month wait and they don't pack fragile goods properly (I've numerous damaged orders since last year). However, their customer service has stepped up to speed these days to refund "very bad" damages. My 3rd Voluspa haul came last week, and one of the candles were badly damaged (no hope) so it was refunded. I'm sad because that was the scent I wanted, Crisp Champage.

Anyway, I love Voluspa so much and I want to share what I got for my 3rd haul so enjoy the pictures because I did haha. I'm going to put the np price but if you really want to know what's the sale price, leave a comment.

Voluspa Ceramica Alta Candle (Ceramic Candle) NP RM210.95

love all the intricate designs on this ceramic candle

a good candle size 19x8x8

I bought 6 Voluspa Ceramica Alta candles but unfortunately, one of it was badly damaged. Among the surviving scents, 4 are best sellers - Saijo Persimmon, Laguna, Suede Blanc, Vervaine Olive Leaf. Macaron has mixed reactions from fans because it could be too sugary or too light to be taken seriously. I picked Vervaine Olive Leaf after watching Candles Off Main's recommendations. It smells like a luxury bathroom. Suede Blanc is a woody/oriental/spice scent category which smells like leather. I thought that was interesting so I wanted to pick it up. Laguna is a beach sea scent, which I bought as a birthday gift for my dear friend Candy to remind her of the Spa Villas, Pangkor Laut. It smells powdery, but you definitely could smell the sea amidst the beach sands and you just feeling sexy enjoying your beach holiday. Saijo Persimmon is my favourite out of all these because it smells so juicy and vibrant!

I am impressed with the ceramic candle range, it's thick, heavy, has a good body, and a vented ceramic snap-close lid that still disperses the scent even when it's not lit (genius right?). It looks pretty on its own already! I only wished the label was embossed onto the ceramic itself. It's a paper label, which wasn't wrapped tightly. You can see it's uneven. It's still a two-in-one keeper! (I still super duper love them). The size? 15oz 425grms with burn time 120hours.

Voluspa Vermeil Collection - Bourbon Vanille NP RM179.10

see the gold specs on the silver glass?

I wanted the Vermeil collection since last year but this collection proved too fragile for delivery. All of my orders for this candle ended up broken. I was surprised this latest one Bourbon Vanille survived and got to my hands in one piece. It's really too pretty, but I what I really wanted was the scents in Makassar Ebony & Peach, Prosecco Rose, and Casa Pacifica (all damaged, and refunded sob). The Vermeil collection has one of the prettiest light to design collection. The candles are packaged in antique double embossed glass with shining metallic specs on it. The size 110z / 310grms with burn time 60 hours. 

Voluspa's signature candle tin now trademark & patented.

I was really lucky to have gotten my hands on this during the sale! It's Voluspa's latest scent from their Jardin collection. The Apple & Blue Clover, which smells almost like Makassar Ebony & Peach but it's more of a floral scent once you start burning. The double wick tin is the signature of Voluspa's btw! They even patented it. So I'm guessing, brands like Soi Candle won't be able to produce their double wick tins too now? (they look the same).

What I love about Voluspa's double wick tins is that it survives being broken into pieces. They're travel-friendly, lighter than glass and durable. The tin has beautiful designs on it based on what scent/collection they're under. There's embossed logo with heat stamped gold borders.

Voluspa Vermeil - Incognito NP RM179.15

star embellished, gold exterior with "Braille" like dots

Now I wanted to pick up the double wick oval tin just to have one into my Voluspa collection. I was surprised yet again to discover that the tin wasn't just a one tone colour. There's embossed, Braille like designs on it! The scent, Incognito is seriously more suitable for men. I regretted buying this because it smells like Dior Savage with oud ingredient in it. Smells like a dark mysterious rich handsome savvy man. Just like how the ingredients expressed "Incognito is a mysterious fragrance and intoxicating blend of amber, black patchouli and oud". The size 12oz with burn time 50 hours.

let's take a look at the ceramic candles again, look at the design!

vented close-snap ceramic lid

beautiful intricate designs on the lid

Voluspa uses coconut wax, healthier to breathe in

So there you go my 3rd Voluspa haul. Of course, I would like to review them as I use them. I'm on a mission to try all their scents in my ability and review them on my blog. Yes, now you know how crazy I am but do you know why I have fallen in love with Voluspa? It's not only because of the designs and packaging (I'm a sucker for this) it's also because of the unique scents they're able to create that doesn't smell cheap like how you get with cheap to medium range candles. Voluspa smells gorgeous, and their designs are gorgeous. They're cheaper than Diptyque and Jo Malone candles but smells equally good, which is why they're called "Luxury You Can Afford".

Also, Voluspa has their own blend of coconut wax which is healthier, toxic free when burn. There are no phthalates, no parabens, no sulphates, no animal testing and 100% cotton wicks for a clean, long lasting burn.

P.S: I want to add that their candle can be repurposed as trinket storages, flower vase, etc!

Voluspa's Proprietary Coconut Wax Blend

Voluspa's candles are poured with a luxurious, extremely clean burning, coconut wax blend.
This proprietary formulation was developed after years of research and development and is truly an innovation in the industry. Voluspa is one of the first candle companies to use coconut wax commercially. Coconut wax is made first by collecting coconuts and then cold pressing the oil out of the meat of the coconut. That coconut oil is then turned into coconut wax through the process of hydrogenation, which is the same process by which soy wax is made. Features of this new blend:
  • Extremely clean burning! Independent lab tests show that Voluspa's coconut wax blend burns up to 90% cleaner than a 100% soy wax candle of the same size and fragrance.
  • Beautiful creamy white look and feel.
  • Holds a high volume of fragrance.
  • Works well with perfume fragrance. Doesn't interfere with a fragrance's true notes and character like soy wax.
  • Ecologically sound, sustainable, and pesticide-free manufacturing.
  • Wicks are 100% cotton for a long lasting clean burn.
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FentyBeauty by Rihanna Launching Soon


Just got an email update that Fenty Beauty is opening soon in Sephora (globally). If you don't already know, the news about Rihanna launching her own beauty brand started last year but I haven't seen anything up till today with this launching news that it'll be available on Sephora and Sephora online globally as well as the official site www.fentybeauty.com. There's not much to see on the site or Instagram account @fentybeauty yet, I gather you'll get more luck following the hashtag #fentybeauty. I'm not that excited since I'm not a big fan of Rihanna but maybe you are!

Is Gucci Guilty for being Not Guilty?


the Gucci Guilty couple

One of my most reviewed fragrance is the Gucci Guilty. I owned both for her and for him perfumes in this line. I also have the diamond limited edition. This is one of the perfumes I wear when I'm feeling dangerously sexy. I'm talking about going to clubbing, letting loose, drinking with the girls or boys. However, a little goes a long way for this gorgeous gold bottled perfume, it's rather strong for me hence, it's not a perfume for office or day time. It's definitely a night time perfume for me. Very luxurious, very sensuous.

That being said, I love how Gucci Guilty (Her) dies down to a warm huggable warmth of amber musk after half a day. It does smell powdery and warm, after the initial burst of strong spicy floral scent. Kinda like how a party starts and ends. I think this lovely fragrance when you're cold. That being said, please avoid wearing this to non-air conditioned places.

Gucci Guilty For Her spicy floral

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme - floral fruity

I gave Baby G one for Christmas, he wears it to smell fresh on a hot day. You know how Malaysia weather is hot 24/7. If we were to go out shopping or travelling, he'll wear this to smell light and fresh all day long. The sillage is poor for me, I could only smell him when I hug him or get close. Though it does last long for Baby G, the scent died down to a very light faint white floral scent.

The bottle is masculine and elegant looking. Its body is made of heavy glass with 3/4  wrapped in cold metal just like the cap. Like Gucci Guilty (Her) you can see the embossed, metallic Gucci sign, transparent in the middle. Her's is a square glass bottle with rounded edges, wrapped from the back and front in a gold metallic body while the sides show the glass transparency of gold liquid till the bottom. It's like holding gold. No hiding how luxurious she is.

 The #GuiltyNotGuilty Gucci Guilty 2016 release

are you ready to watch this #guiltynotguilty commercial? 

dangerous guilty IMHO! Not for Asians lol

FYI, Gucci Guilty released a video that's kinda on the taboo edge of Asian boundaries last year.. Alright maybe taboo to me, maybe not to you? It's kinda scandalous, I'm not even sure if I should show it! I guess their branding of Gucci Guilty is showing how not guilty they are. The video opens in the dreamy, mysterious city of Italy, Vernice. with a story of three young people on an obviously not guilty, intimate trip together. Jared Leto as the anarchy male and two almost identical models Julia Hafstrom and Vera Van Erp. They prance around, play, and are comfortable being in each other's arm - girl guy or girl girl (I'm showing my shocked face here).

You can get this from Gucci's fragrance counter new you. Here's the price list:

Gucci's Gucci Guilty EDT (Her)
- Top notes of pink pepper
- Heart note of lilac
- Base notes of patchouli and amber
Gucci Guilty EDT 30ml RM239
Gucci Guilty EDT 50ml RM301
Gucci Guilty EDT 75ml RM414

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme EDT (Him)
- Top notes of lavender and lemon
- Heart note of orange flower
- Base notes of cedar wood and patchouli
Gucci Guilty Pour Homme EDT 50ml RM236
Gucci Guilty Pour Homme EDT 90ml RM319

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Banjaran Hotsprings Water Villas Review


The Banjaran Hotspring Retreat's Water Villas

If you're looking at Banjaran Hotsprings Ipoh, then you'll probably want to weigh your options against the two types of villas currently available for their guests. There's a third one coming up soon called the Lake Villas which from my last visit to Banjaran, found out that it's going to be ready this September or later, let's see how fast they can complete this new addition to retreat. The Lake Villas is named after a man-made lake that's being constructed as well. I couldn't peek through but I can clearly see the construction is going on at the end of the retreat.

the plunge pool with lounging area 

more compact but still private

the bedroom - soft duck feather pillows king size bed

Anyway, the current two types of accommodations are the Garden Villa 2,808 sq. ft and Water Villa 1,667 sq. ft. Through my stays here, the Garden Villa is the best one so far. It's bigger with its own plunge pool and garden jacuzzi. Even with the garden jacuzzi, there are two types, the Garden Hotsprings type, and the normal standard tile type.

For the Water Villa, it's more compact but still private and beautiful with open air concepts in the villas itself. The jacuzzi is the normal standard type, just alongside the plunge pool which is smaller. You can't actually make a swim in here. With the Garden Villa, you can.

The surroundings or view is different as well for the two villas. Garden Villas are surrounded by lush greenery and the lime cliffs. Possible monkey invasion as well because of the forest. The Water Villa is built on top of a man-made river, so it has a river canal view of the surroundings.

Both unique in its own way, you'll still enjoy quiet and private experience away from the city and people. When Banjaran opened, both villas were priced the same but now the Water Villas are much cheaper to book compared to the Garden Villas. I have no idea about the upcoming Lake Villas though.

For more information check out Banjaran Hotspring's website here on the villa type. Read my review of my stay in the Garden Villa here

What's New in Skincare? Comfort Zone Hydramemory Range


could this be my next skincare obsession?

Today I sent Baby G off to an Italian skin care brand launch. The brand name is [ comfort zone ] which is quite strange for a brand name to be like this. Anyway, they were launching their latest hydration range called the Hydramemory for hydration. The range uses advanced science based conscious formula with the finest natural-origin active ingredients. Founded by Dr Davide Bollati who's a pharmacist and cosmetic chemist on a mission to create the complete beauty system using science. Hence the brand's tagline Skin Science Soul.

While reading their brochure and press release, it's full of explanation about the human skin and water content. In other words, they have science the **** out of this.

Skipping this through, I tend not to blog about things that don't interest me or aren't worth while to talk about, hence you see the lack of product review updates on my blog. BUT this particular brand has caught my attention when I google to read what they're products are for. The prices caught my attention, it was in hundreds. Pretty expensive in my opinion but there has to be a reason right?

The second thing was the label of 24hr double hydration. Now hydration is something I strongly believe makes a difference in skincare. No matter how old you are, we need hydration. It keeps our skin healthy, protected, and youthful. The ingredient Hyaluronic Acid (H.A) is not a stranger when one talks about hydration. Hada Labo (affordable Japanese skincare brand) was my first encounter of H.A and my last was falling for DocLab Hyaluronic Acid Face Ampoules (Korean). DocLab is pretty pricey. Each box was RM138 for only 5 ampoules. You have to use one daily. You can like me, alternate the days. They definitely worked but I couldn't afford using it every day. After 5 boxes, I stopped.

 the Hydramemory System
free from silicones, parabens, mineral oils,
up to 99% natural-origin ingredients

When Baby G came back with the PR products just now, I jumped at him to give it to me. I couldn't wait to try them. I was given the Hydramemory Essence and Hydramemory Eye Gel. I couldn't be bothered with eye gels until I tested it on my hand. Holy Cow, the eye gel wasn't gel based. It was water based. When the product comes out, it looks like a gel but once you apply it on the skin it turns watery! Like water! I have not tried eye products like this unless it was an eye serum. It came attached with a metal eye massager, and when I glide it over my eye bags, it felt perfect! The metal massager shaped like your index finger rolls over the skin naturally. That really felt different from the usual ball shaped eye massager.

The next, I was disappointed because it was just an essence. I thought I would be trying the 24hr cream gel which was what I read online. It's okay, let just give this a chance I said to myself. HOLY COW, the essence dripped off my hands like the fast & the furious. I was caught off guard.

WAIT what kind of essence is this?! I thought essences are mostly rich, sticky or heavier but this was super light weight, I felt nothing when I apply it. Heck, it's like the water from my pipe. Not that kind of pipe, the real sink pipe. So watery, omg. I love watery products. Makes you feel like you're bathing your skin in hydration. I think I'm in love with this one.

I poured some on my palm and test it on my cheeks. It was quickly absorbed and my cheeks immediately feel soft and plump. Oh **** I'm doomed. I haven't even used yet and already I am falling in love with the first impressions. Most Korean essences (toners) are like watery like that.

Hydramemory Eye Gel & Hydramemory Essence

I took out the press release and started reading. It says the Hydramemory Essence is a concentrated fragrance-free solution, as light as a toner but as powerful as a serum to help create a stronger, healthier and younger-looking skin. The essence provides immediate hydration action, inducing softness and radiance to the skin with Hydramemory's active ingredients boosted with 11 hydrating activators in a natural base of tamarind, and the natural components of the skin's hydrating factors (NMF complex).  Suitable for all skin types, 99% natural-origin ingredients, retails for RM288.

The Korean Essence a.k.a "Skins"
source credit: Althea Korea

Essence first came about from Korea. Like a toner, it's used after cleansing but it's not like the western toners (astringents/drying) and more to remove whatever residues left from cleansing. Korean "toner" are called skins. Since Koreans practice double cleansing already, their "toners" are more like a skin care step, to nourish or hydrate the skin. Bringing ingredients deep into the skin.

The popular 7 skins method, is how Koreans use essences 7 times (layering by patting on the skin 7 times) to effectively hydrate their skin.

The Hydramemory Eye Gel brings abut relief to tired eyes and defends the eye contour against age markers. Mediterranean Apple Extract is added to reduce dark circles and puffiness. The metal applicator ensures a pleasant and functional application for a refreshing and anti-fatigue action. 98% natural-origin ingredients, retails for RM228.

I'm really impressed by this two product, so impressed that I am writing this down before I forget. I will be using this for a week min. before I could say anything. Before I end, I want to properly introduce the other products in this range and the active ingredients used so anyone who's interested to know more about this revolutionary Italian skincare range could do some reading and check it out for themselves.

The Active Ingredients: 

Natural Extracts
An exclusive blend of natural extract delivers the mechanism of double hydration. Apple, lentil and watermelon rind are extracted as functional molecules essential for restoration of the skin's barrier. The blend stimulates Aquaporins to facilitate the transport of water to the heart of the cell and promotes optimal diffusion of water within the different layers of the skin.

Biomimetic Fragments of Hyaluronic Acid
Replenish moisture into the dermis and epidermis layers of the skin. It also has the ability to empower the hyaluronic acid in our bodies to create effective water reserves for the skin.

Moringa Oil from Certified Fair Trade Cultivations
Also known as "Miracle Tree", is rich in omega 3, 6, and 9, Vitamin E and phytosterols. It reduces Trans Epidermal Water Loss and promotes antioxidant action.

The Hydramemory range comprises of an essence, eye gel and a mask, along with a serum, cream gel, and cream. All these could be found here at the [ comfort zone ] website. They have other ranges too but I have a feeling this is going to be good because everyone needs hydration! These products are also available at over 20 beauty salons nationwide.

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My Journey Into Essential Oils


believing in the power of oils

My latest obsession after Voluspa candles is ESSENTIAL OILS! Blame it on my increasing paranoia to reverse signs of ageing =_= !!! I need to look youthful and healthy too and one of the ways I'm exploring today is using essential oils. So I have been reading online about the benefits, the differences between organic and non-organic essential oils, which essential oils would be good as a start and which could help improve your health and beauty!

types of essential oils & its benefits

What are Essential Oils?
Essential Oils are concentrated essences extracted from flowers, fruit peel, berries, leaves, plants, etc. Used in aromatherapy, natural remedies and are therapeutic.  The benefits include improving physical ailments, promote emotional well-being and quality of life. Read 101 Ways to Use Essential Oils.

How To Use Essential Oils?
  • Massage
  • Diffuser
  • Shower / Bath
  • Inhalation
You cannot apply it directly on your skin (too potent, might cause an allergic reaction) and must use it with a carrier oil, lotion, bath, or shower gel. Also do not take it internally (make sure u double triple check this with the brand first as we don't know how safe it is!) and if you're thinking of using it for children, please read up the dosage! Essential oils are like medicine, there are dosages to follow so you do not mix and used too much! (allergies, etc).

Essential Oils Facts:
  • highly flammable 
  • stored away from direct light/sun
  • the bottle is either dark/brown/blue
Carrier Oils (base oil/veg oil) are used to dilute essential oils. They help carry the oil into the skin. Applying essential oils directly onto the skin without carrier oil would not help and might instead harm your skin due to its potency. Here are popular carrier oils:
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Rose Hip Oil
What's A Good Brand?
With so many companies out there promoting that they're the best, I had to read up reviews and company information to determine if they indeed what they claim to be:
  • Pure
  • Natural
  • Therapeutic grade/Organic
Of course, essential oils are not cheap depending on how they were produced which could be from seed to seal (from seedlings to farm to processing the oils - Young Living), wildcrafted (means from the wild, which would yield better quality oils compared to farmed ones), organic or not (but essential oils from what I read are generally free of pesticides because the molecules are smaller and able to pass through the process). Be wary of ones that are just synthetic oils, fragrance oils, aroma solubles mostly used for diffusers so they're cheaper than 100% pure organic oils.

Three ways Essential Oils are made:
  • Steam distillation (woody/robust plants e.g lavender)
  • Extraction (delicate flowers e.g jasmine)
  • Expressed (soft fruits e.g lemon/grapefruit)
Best brands I read online, consistently points to:
  • Young Living
  • DoTerra
  • Mountain Rose Herbs

Young Living - How To Use Essential Oils

I do recommend reading this article! I liked how the author has gathered some brands and rate them according to her search, price and reviews. If you're like me diving into the world of essential oils, do some reading, comparison and research on the types of oils you need. Google Popular Essential Oils and you'll find many articles on this topic alone. I'm currently reading Natural Living Ideas this as it provides pictures and how it's made.

To date, I bought many types of essential oils but never really go in depth about the pricing vs use. I think the ones I have are not 100% pure natural essential oils :( but luckily I didn't use it topically for myself, it was just for my diffuser. Some I bought from visiting spas e.g pillow mists, massage oils, headache ointments. I do have two bottles of Melvita's L'Or Bio extraordinary oil, Linden Leave's rose oil and a couple of massage oils (these are blends).

So let's start fresh! Yesterday I bought myself my 1st essential oil Frankincense from Neal's Yard Remedies. It was freaking expensive, 10ml for RM165 (why did I even pay for it argh). Why does imported beauty brands in Malaysia has to be so freaking expensive?

the benefits of Frankincense Oil
(this poster got my attention at Neal's Yard Remedies)

I didn't think it would be that expensive and they didn't even give me the 10% discount (store opening) well maybe because during that time the oil was sold out so I put my details to be updated if the oil was restocked again. According to the BA, it's always sold out which got my attention. Being a hoarder, the word sold out is like magic to my ears. Still regretting I paid so much for an essential oil, I went online to check out prices from Mysale.my and one brand called Art Naturals sold the same essential oil at RM95 for 120ml size (facepalm). I'll put it to comparison when I get my 2nd Frankincense oil.

art natural essential oils

Now I tried looking up information for this brand but couldn't find much. A site did review that they sell 100% pure natural essential oil so for me, I guess why not. I bought the following essential oils for my diffuser which I'm proud to say not bad for the price!
  • 100% Pure Essential Oil - Frankincense 4oz/120ml @ RM95
  • Pure & Natural Magnesium Oil 12oz/355ml @ RM59
  • Top 16 Essential Oil Set 10ml each @ RM89
Now the reason why I decided to start off with Frankincense Essential Oil is that besides being linked as a natural cancer healing remedy, it's also to said useful to reduce wrinkles, pigmentations, moles, warts, boost the immune system, relieve chronic stress, and many more health benefits. Read here.

it's said Frankincense Oil is the King of Essential Oils

Then, of course, I wanted to explore more so I got the top 16 essential oil set from Art Naturals. At RM89 why not! It's a bargain that I can explore with my trusty diffuser. The set is comes with the following essential oils 10ml each - Bergamot, Cinnamon Leaf, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Sweet Orange, Tangerine, and Tea Tree oils. Use these pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils to help tackle common ailments, boost mood and scent your home and office with aromatherapy. Create your own nontoxic household cleaners, skin, hair and body care products. The possibilities are endless with this carefully-selected, signature collection.

an example of Magnesium Oil Benefit

Then I got the Magnesium Oil because I read that topical use of Magnesium is better than pill popping. Magnesium was one of the supplements recommended to me by Blackmores during my health check for stress management. It's from vegetables and bananas which I rarely eat so I am going to find another way to have Magnesium in my body.

When my haul comes next month (it takes a month from Mysale) I'll do an unboxing review okay! Sigh does this post sound long winded? I tried to make it as simple as it can be already. Still, a newbie here so whoever who has any info to share please do leave a comment!

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