Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ettusais Zero Pore Compact foundation review


the shade chart and the actual foundation

Ettusais has always been my favourite brand. I fall in love with their oil control powder first when I live in Hong Kong. in the hot climate in HK, it is very hard to find anything that doesn’t need blotting every few hours but Ettusais.. wow! no blotting whatsoever. I am quite surprise how popular this brand is among my friends as well.

I went to Wales last week to sort out the wedding, and to pack extremely light, I dug out my Ettusais Compact foundation. Surprise surprise, people been commenting how great my skin look so I decide to do a post on it.

I have been using this compact foundation and this must be my third purchase. In Hong Kong, I definitely can’t do without this. Blotting paper? never exist in my handbag.


The back fo the foundation. I use 40 Beige which is my shade.

I think this is made by Shiseido company. Ettusais is special brand for Adult acne problem. And one of the very few shiseido brand that can cater for darker skin tone. 40 in shiseido shade guide is always a perfect match for NC30


I lost the original case so I bought a raycious case. it fits perfectly, and much more beautiful than the original as well

248 HKD which is around 33 USD

it glides on smoothly on the skin with the sponge given. the instruction says no need to wet the sponge. Just apply directly on face

Average. Definitely need concealer


my skin


in the official website, the before and after look

Here’s a crop of a picture I took in Wales. As you see, some of the acne scar is not properly covered but the foundation gives a glow to the skin. In real life, I look like I have smooth skin


In the introduction of this compact, it says
‘No oily face, no sticky skin, a natural look. Non-chemical sun protection’

It has SPF 12 PA++ in it, weight 11g. and in actual term, if you use it everyday I finish the compact in 3 months.

I like it a lot as it is very comparable to my other liquid foundation, in fact, I like the finishing a little more compare to some of the liquid foundation I have. Perhaps it is just because i never use powder as a finishing touch on my liquid foundation.

If you live in a hot humid climate, I totally recommend this foundation to you.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dao Dao and Mui Chu Special (豆豆同妹豬special)

Welcome Mui Chu (we call her Chu as nickname)

S and I been debating having a second cat for a long long time. And it became a big issue because S is absolutely spoiling Dao too much (you know.. giving him 10 kisses and listening to Dao’s order ... switch on the tap! open the door! split your legs!!), and there’s a possibility of me going back to full-time work so we decide we want a second cat as a Dao’s companion.

Mui Chu is from the prefix Tanyrallt and she was the only one left in that litter. She is extremely playful, gets along with other cats and we were too excited bringing her home.

Mui Chu is actually my pet name in my family.... S loves the name so much (in fact all older generation call me that) and decide to name her Mui Chu.

Only just 1 day, both of them are kind of getting along.


Mui Chu and Dao in bed (and my messy clothings as well)


Arghh... that’s just cute


Both up early in the morning. Dao wasn’t too happy he’s grounded. Mui Chu just happy Dao is around


For Dao Dao fans... some shot of Dao waiting for you after a day out..


Another one.. you can see he just loves Kitty TV

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HG Cleanser review

x’mas is coming and hence my wallet is getting squeezed every day. I decide to do another HG post


(taken by my new Minolta 35-70mm F4 lens.. not bad at all)

ok basically they are separated into super HG (meaning I will never replace them) HG (like it but I know a good alternative) and random purchase

Super HG:

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil

this is the only makeup remover I use. Around 3 years ago, I was using johnson and johnson cream cleanser and the cleansing oil wave just hit me. I bought this bottle coz none of the cleansing oil available in the market (Fancl, DHC etc) produced such a big bottle.
The best place to buy is SASA, but beware of their expiry date. Usually they expire within 1 year of purchase from Sasa
There is different variation of this Shu Uemura Cleansing oil, but I don’t feel any difference to them except their scent and bottle colour.
It cleanse everything. Forget the next procedure. it takes everything off except eye makeup

Muji Cotton Pad:


Both are must have items. The first is the one recommended by Saeki and a lot more economical. One piece of cotton and be split into 4.

the other is purely for my toner/lotion use.
Why Muji? coz 99% of the cotton pad sold in drugstores in UK are rubbish. So hard! so thick! so arghhhhhhh...
the only pad I can use are from Muji.. thank god for globalisation...

Lancome bi-fical or Boots Dual eye makeup remover
both takes off MM mascara easily without pain, combined with Saeki’s method, that’s even better.
I find Boots dual eye makeup remover as effective as the lancome, which is 2/3 of the price cheaper.

that’s including...

Emulsion -
any brand, I use this to take off my makeup on very late nights as I can’t be bother to wash my face anymore. I find emulsion are great for taking off makeup and no need to buy makeup remover wipes separately

Lancome Gel Eclat cleanser
Lush Angel on Bare Skin
Lancome exfolliance Clarte
Laneige Straweberry peel

these are rather random purchase so if anyone want i’ll do a review separately...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It is a cookie day

This week super super busy... Lets start with something nice

So other than a PhD student I now work as cupcake assistant, meaning I bake cupcakes.. This week we have an order of

5 tier wedding cake
200 cookies piped with guest name as wedding favours
100 cupcakes
1 top cake

so I was put into an accelerated course on making cookies and here’s what i did:


this is my first attempt piping and I find using the simpliest colour makes the best cookie...

I plan to make some cookie for x’mas and just learned how to ice a cake, so x’mas cake is my biggest challenge from now.

also did some sugar modelling


I fancy making some pretty girls but think they look much better with their facial expressions

So that’s gd.. did 100 cupcakes with making the colour buttercream as well all is well and it is very easy now..

Also, my ASOS order arrived! yeah!!!

so I’ll do a review of the beauty blender.. such a good product!!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Frankfurt trip and Maybelline Pure Mineral Foundation Review

Frankfurt and maybelline pure Mineral Foundation

So the post about frankfurt which I went just 2 weeks ago. I thought i’ll post this up before i forget...
I basically spend all my time at the hotel (doing my tax return !!!) I can totally understand why people moans, in fact I am soo overdue that I am getting a big slap by my tax office

So while I am doing my accounts:

German Apple Custard cake (and the vaseline rosy lips next to it, you can see.. Rosy Lips is my HG)


Went to frankfurt coz S went for training. Except he whole heartedly hate german food. This is an argentian steak covered with cheese and garlice with super super nice potatoe crisp/fries.. and behind there’s the guana juice from Brazil. I love globalisation...


I finally venture out and took a 2.5 hour with the tourist office. They operate everyday morning and afternoon. In here, i use mascara, Maybelline pure Mineral Foundation and rosy lips. Again just to hide those blemish on face...

sigh.. i look fat (we all say that right?)


The famous Korean dinner in Frankfurt. And look at the starters! definitely much better in London. For those who don’t know, there’s a big Korean community in Germany, so you have really good korean restaurant. But not cheap. The pancake is around 14 euros
But love love the starters


Ok back to the Maybelline foundation.

i got 030 as shade, I think they have 4 shades.
Compare to the powder mineral foundation, I always prefer liquid, not very sure why, but this is personal preference (will blog about my experience with compact foundation next post)

I bought this because i feel that I need a cheaper foundation, even cheaper than Revlon. And this only cost 7 GBP, and i bought it in the airport before i left for Frankfurt. Bought some sponge at boots, but they’re rubbish.

ok my view:
Nice and simple. Less coverage than BB cream, but better for your skin. It is quite sheer, and easy to apply. However, i need more concealer to hide my acne scar by using this.
Another little complain is it doesn’t stay on face long enough for my liking. In my previous photo, I only been out for 1.5 hrs since I apply and it looks like i haven’t put on. I think I need to get a powder to set it (lemming over Barry M powder)
It is a buyable product for girls who wear makeup, espeically in office environment. And that’s what I’ll use for my cupcake lesson.


A big news.

Dao has a new girlfriend.

welcome. mui Chu (妹豬)


our new additional to the Dao Dao Kingdom

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two lip balm review - Vaseline Rosy Lips and rosy Petal salve

Winter has arrived!! at least in the UK, I finally took out my heavy coats and hang them up. for some reason.. I don’t have enough winter clothings this year to get by.. I wonder why.

Anyway, I thought I’ll do a lip balm review, reviewing two of my HG products


Rose & Co Apothecary Lip balm


Where to buy:
not everywhere, selected boots, waitrose or online

reason to buy:
this is an alternative to the normal Vaseline lip balm, except it is made from Rose petal and a lovely Rose scent

My verdict:
Great product but very pricey. 99p versus 5GBP for a rose scent. However, this is only available in the UK, and the pretty packaging.. I can’t resist
It has no colour and not as ‘oily/waxy’ as Vaseline. I use this on my skin problems if in case i have no body cream on me. Great to just put it in the bag and use it on lips or skin.
They have other products along this Rose pedal and lip balm range.. still thinking if I should get it.. it is pricey for me though

Vaseline Petroleum jelly Rose Lips


Varies from 1.29 to 1.99

Waitrose and some selected drugstores. Not as widely available to other Vaseline products

My verdict:
if you are on the go, and need a hint of colour I totally totally recommend this. In fact, on a quick day, this is one of the only 3 products i put on my face other than foundation and eyeliner.
This is cheap but not easy to get, and I believe not available outside UK as well. Your lips will love you by putting this on rather than a lipstick. This keep my lips from drying out.

One of the best buy and souvenir from outside UK. in fact, I stock myself with this rosy Lips and give out from time to time to people who wanted this.

Both of these products is a must have for me when I travel....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ASOS 25% Off all orders

This is big news.

ASOS.COM is having 25% of all orders until 21st oct

spread the words

voucher code: asosgrazia

Monday, October 12, 2009

FOTD: Guerlain Palette and dao


Long time no see (my face on the blog)

I have finally found the ultimate way doing FOTD without buying a new camera..

I found a tripod at home so I manage to do it by setting up a mini studio at home. hehe... hence it rather nice quality photos

Except I need to do Manual focus on the camera (focus on an object in a distance, focus it, set it and change into manual focus mode)

But hey.. finally get a photo that I want..

This face is onlu make use of the Guerlain Palette which I received. Natural is the word Natural is my WORD!

i particular like the lippies colour (it went on very nicely) and the mascara which came with it (I think it is even better than my MM)

The eye shadow is pinky natural, and have 5 shades to choose from

I use my Nanoce BB cream.. the foundation I use on the run.. but you can see it is rather coarse on my face compare to my foundation which went on smoothly

So Dao is making his special appearance again! Hello Dao!!


One last thing..

Happy birthday S.
this is your last birthday being Single.. next year. You’ll be a married man haha

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chizu Saeki's Book review: what i follow

Since june I have been waiting for this book from my local library as they needed to bring it in for me from another London borough, Finally able to read it myself and see if it is amazing and rave about.

If you do not know what this book about, it is written by
Chizu Saeki, the beauty guru in Japan (however i doubt whether she has botox or cosmetic surgery as her skin does look a bit fake) and she wrote this simple book about how to take care of your skin.

She did write a few things we should all know by now. In particular, determining your skin type and how to care. So I skipped nearly 1/2 book and take notice in a few things. You are all welcome to get hold of and make a decision by yourself.

After reading, I think this book is really useful and I have taken a few advice from the following:

  1. Lymph Message
According to Saeki, this is where you can change the condition of your skin. Lymph points are where your body process waste.. if you are as unhealthy as me, when you message your lymph point it should hurt like hell. Many Hong Kong girls swear by doing lymph message (in HK, you can get special Lymph message only in beauty salon) you can lose weight...
I tried it on myself, works great and relaxing..

I tried the message on S.. he said it hurts like hell

  1. Cleansing process
As someone who didn’t really learn a lot of makeup techniques from mother.. my skills aren’t great in this department. My mom said I have lines because I didn’t take off my eye make up properly and according to the book, people only have fine lines around the eye because of inadequate make up removal.. residue stays there and clog the pores and area and lines appear

Chizu technique as follows:
Soak 2 cotton with water and your makeup remover
fold one of them into triangular shape and place under your eye
the other to remove upper part of eyelid
use a cotton bud, soak it in makeup remover and gently remove your eye makeup mascara and eyeliner
also remove the residue around your waterline
lastly, remove the remaining eye makeup using the triangular shape cotton which you have been placing under eye
repeat for the other eye

My old technique:
soak cotton with warm water and makeup remover
place cotton over eye for 1-2 mins
remove makeup by gently wiping it off

do you see a big difference? I was soo surprise that there was so much eyeliner at the undereye area and cotton bud!

Also she said you need to try to take as long time to take off your makeup as you put on them.. so if you take 30 mins to put on makeup, you need to take 30 to take off them (or prepare anyway)

  1. Morning cleansing procedure
Chizu recommended using lukewarm water only in the morning but do a moisture mask as well. Completely different to my old technique. which is clean with cleanser but do mask in the evening

  1. Message your face with serum
The book has specific instructions of the direction of how to apply your serum and moisturiser. Basically you massage and pull your skin to the direction to tighten it

That’s all I learn from Chizu... which I think is useful

Do I want to spend 12.99 GBP (20 usd) on this book? No... I think I better claim my tax and borrow from library..

Friday, October 9, 2009

From Jamilla with Love

Recently did a swap and bought a few items from Jamilla, all of them within a few days apart. I thought i’ll share my haul with you all. Thank you Jamilla in spoiling me with these which i never can afford

The photos are taken with holding the items in front of my macbook webcam. This is the only quick way to take photos since I no longer have a compact camera. I am lemming over the Samsung ST550.. which beautified your face and has 2 LCD which allow you to see how you look like. My old Canon TX-1 has a swivel camera like a camcorder but it was broken (out of focus) too quickly. And now I got a DSLR Song A200, which is a bit bulky to use day to day in my opinion.


Guerlain Make Up Palette

Neutral is my best friend...



Dior Bronze Sun Couture Palette (i thought the colour looks perfect on my already tanned skin)




This is a aswap from Jamilla, the Armani Designer Modelling Compact Foundation SPF22 No.5

Which is very interesting, it is cream foundation but you use the brush to apply

Looks little light on me (but the correct word is glowing!!!!)


Shu Uemura Pro Concealer 3YR

I tried very quickly on my eye bag.. and jesus...

Good bye boi-ing, good bye laneige

This is my fav..

Promise to do a FOTD next post, this is due too long

Thursday, October 8, 2009




I’m back again.... I thought I’ll play with my macjournal software a bit and do a travel post. if you feel uncomfortable with this font.. let me know

Went to frankfurt last week, mainly for business but we went 1 day early to escape from the nothingness of Germany (according to S) so we picked heidelberg to visit.


Apparently the hercules statue..

unfortunately we went a day’s late so ended up seeing the aftermarth (tired street performers) and sunday... meant only icecream shops are open..

still we went up to the Heidelberg castle and look around. Great to travel when you have a student card


the famous bridge


the red Heidelberg castle


One of the embassy building on the hill

originally we can leave at 5pm, but S thought since we spent 30 euros each to get here, we should stay longer. in Evie’s logic that meant she can mess up with time. Had dinner at 5pm, to leave and catch the train at 7.20.. giving themselves 30 mins to catch the train

except.. public transport is just bad in europe therefore we didn’t catch the train and waited for an hour

by the time we caught the train, it was a Regional service train.. rather than 50 mins journey became 1.5 hr

totally totally exhausted

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

JLPT exam

a random piece but I’m taking my JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency test) in 2 months time.
Rather scary but hey.. I’m on Level 2 , just one more level to qualify to study in Japan hehe

but this is the last year they are holding the exam so must really really study hard (I heard it is a lot harder as they might abandon the multiple choice style question next year)

will do a review probably tomorrow..

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My 2 cents on BB cream


I am here to declare I won’t buy anymore BB cream. (and use up everything I have or swap them away). Having been using BB cream for over 1 year, I think I can make a good judgement if it is suitable for me or not.

I’ll break down why I decide to give up:

  1. is it true it is all in 1
the all in one includes, no primer, no moisturiser, no sunscreen, no concealer
Well that’s how it sell it to me. however, it is rather dry to apply on (and you only use little of it) you need to moisture. Yes you don’t need primer or sunscreen as it includes it, but most of the BB cream does not have concealing power compare to a normal concealer. I need to dab some concealer around eye around.
So in one way, BB cream wins, but most of the foundation also contains SPF and long lasting nowadays.

  1. What BB actually means
Blemish cream. It is for dedicate skin after surgery or to skin that is prone to spots. Therefore it is rather dry in nature. Jamilla did a few great post on her experience using BRTC after her IPL treatment. But in general, the mass market BB cream does not contain such quality. Gary Chung, a makeup artist from Hong Kong is actually anti-BB cream, he feels BB cream is being misunderstood and used in the wrong way. (that’s before he get paid to sell Mioggi bb cream)

  1. weather condition
For my combination skin, i find that bb cream cannot be wear in wet tropical weather . My problem is that I can only use BB Cream in weather like Uk, cold and dry most of the time. The oil control properties do not exist in the BB cream I use for some reasons (Missha in particular)
You can mix BB cream with foundation if you want to wear it. But why spend your time doing it when foundation does the job anyway?

  1. adjustable shade
This is where i find most of the problem. I have NC30, and basically nearly all BB cream cannot cater for my skin tone. The only bb cream that can ‘adjust’ to my skintone are L’egere Red tube, Missha Shade 23, Nanoce. The rest, bin!
For fairskin you probably ok with most of the bb cream exist. For me.. I’m afraid that bb cream needs to go.

5.        coverage and texture
again, this varies from brand to brand. Some provides light/featherlike (Begin My Pride, jadilla J, L’egere) coverage, and some with extreme coverage (Missha). We tend to think if BB cream is ‘1’product, the coverage etc should be similar from brand to brand. Oh no, very wrong.
Firstly, you need to require new skill to apply bb cream. You use a pea size and fingers to apply. Secondly, you need to wait until it adjust to your skintone before you do anything. All in all, too much fuff and not liking the idea.

All in all, do I recommend BB cream to anyone? Yes. if you have some skin treatment and need some gentle foundation. Yes to those who want light coverage.

i travel lots and can only pack 1 foundation, so since no idea how bb Cream will perform in each country, it is safer to pack foundation only.

(this entry is written by macjournal.. what do you think?)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Foundation comparison: Revlon, maybelline and Lancome

Foundation comparison review! Maybelline pure mineral, revlon colorstay and Lancome ColorIdeal

So, I'm back from frankfurt and after my university enrolment (the 10 th time), I was told no matter what I must submit by April 2010. That's around 300 words per day to complete my dessertation and editing by April. Did I say arghhh very loudly?

Anyway, before I forgot I want to do a foundation comparison. I have been on a foundation crazy since I came back from France because none of my foundation I had works on me anymore. I got a touch darker and plus the previous foundation doesn't match perfectly. I'll do a follow up post on my thought about BB cream after 1 year.

So our contestant for this review are:

Maybelline Pure mineral in Sand 30 (Price: £7.50 / USD 12 )

Revlon Colorstay in 320 Natural tan (Price: £11.15 / USD 18)

Lancome ColorIdeal Shade 30 (Price: £26 / USD 41)

All of these are perfect match except with Revlon Colorstay which is just a little bit dark, will explain later.

I rather do a comparison but not a descriptive review, if you want a detail review, please leave a comment!

Texture/Coverage (Light to heavy):

light: Maybelline

normal: lancome

heavy: revlon

Long Lasting (not so to very long lasting):

Maybelline (not so)

lancome (ok)

revlon (very!!)

Colour match to NC30 (not so to it match perfectly)

Above from left: Revlon, Lancome, Maybelline

Revlon comes out a bit dark, but lancome and maybelline are perfect match

The problem with Revlon is that it comes with two different skintype, Combination/Oily, and normal/dry. I got Combination/Oily because I might use in Hong kong and its best just in case. However, not all drugstore stock all foundation, and when I found the one which stock everything (The biggest boots on oxford street) and compare, combination has a yellow tone compare to Normal. So if you are reading and is yellow tone no matter your skintype is get COMBINATION/OILY, it is yellow toned!

Bottle design:

Revlon (bad)

lancome (ok.. but..)

maybelline (no complaint)

Why lancome doesn't come first? It is a glass bottle and not easy to travel and carry. We all need to pick the bottle up sometime and take it with you right?

Revlon is worst, it doesn't come with a pump meaning you need to pour....

My reason to buy in:


I bougth this first when I was walking down the street with S looking for a food mixer. However it was too expensive, and reading Cosmetic candy review on Lancome Teint Idole, I want to buy the same. If anyone follow cosmetic candy, she's a NC35 so for me it's a good reference :)

Went into boots originally want to buy Revlon, decided £11 was too expensive but still walk into the Lancome counter thinking it would only cost 16.. when the very very cute male SA tried it on me with colorstay, he declared it is perfect match and I fell for him. When I took out my card to pay then I realised it cost a bloody £26.

However, my pretty SA told me it should change with my skin. I know it'll become lighter someday but not outside the NC30 bracket, this foundation can stay with me for a while

Other than the expensive price tag, i'm not satisfy with its coverage. Remember I tried shu uemura before? I thought this will give me the same effect (hello! £26) but no... it has the same coverage with my Nanoce and I totally regretted buying this even it is a perfect match.


Bought this in airport and it is a perfect match. I always wanted to try mineral foundation (based on Beauty spot review). Mineral foundation I thought might be a bit like bB cream, it changes colour to match your skintone (correct me if i'm wrong), but when I try it and verified by S, it is perfect match.

Problem is it is light coverage, and I need to learn how to apply this with finger (sponger is bad.. very bad... it absorb everything) and comparable to L'egere bb cream, very light coverage. But indeed it gives a better looking skin and better for your skin!

What makes me buy for it? It is only 7 quid darling.

Revlon Colorstay

Ok, those who follow my twitter will know I actually bought the shade 340 to start with, and not happy with being tanned and oxidate during the day (making me look like a tanned monkey), I went back and successfully got a lighter shade.

What I love is it is very reasonable price, yet it is extremely long lasting. I recommend this to anyone who is starting to use foundation and want to skip concealer. Seriously, I don't really use concealer but it is very thick as well.

My problem is not all drugstore store the right shade for you and there's far too many to choose from. Someone is picky will say yah! Someone who is lazy like me who can only refer to MAC shade is nay.

A rough guide to Revlon is

1X0 = MAC 10-15

2X0 = MAC 20-25

3X0 = MAC 30-35

etc, I know I better suit a 310 shade but hey there's no stock and I run away with my tube of foundation since they're happy for me to refund it (it was completely sealed when I return it if anyone ask)



but do try Revlon if you can find your shade...

verdict: I'll use revlon for a whole day job and maybelline at night. Lancome is reserved for special day only.


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