December 29, 2011

Hits and Misses of 2011

Things I didn’t like:

.Garnier Fructis Thermo-Active Spray
Why? It stinks. I don’t like my hair smelling like what this smells like. Go on, have a sniff, it’s just… ew.

.Shiseido Perfect Oil (Blue Pump Bottle)
Why? Worst cleansing oil I have tried. It does not clean makeup or remove anything. Fail.

.Australis Make-Up Finishing Spritz
Why? Overpowering scent with sort of a strange finish on my skin. I just much prefer other facial sprays.

.Shu Uemura Face Architect Remodeling Cream Foundation
Why? Doesn’t blend into my skin, maybe wrong chemistry bond or my skin just does not like it. Plus I bought the wrong shade.

.Garnier Mineral Deodorant Roll-On
Why? This was just way too wet under my arms. Maybe I should try a spray on one next time. But my current roll-on works perfectly fine (Hugo Boss Bottled. Night. Deodorant Stick and MooGoo).

.NARS Nico as Blush
If you want to use this as highlighter or simply powder - go ahead. I just do NOT understand how this is considered a blush. This is not a blush, more of a face powder.

.LACURE Waterproof Mascara
I know this is cheap, available at Aldi supermarkets. It looks uber cute. It is sleek and with its gunmetal packaging, it shouts "Buy Me!" but don't. This does not do anything to your lashes. Did they even put anything in this? Anyway... bad experience, yet they might have some lovely products in their range nevertheless.

.SUKIN Facial Scrub
Bamboo beads, I was expecting gentler approach to this natural brand (I like some of their products just not this one) ONLY , note... ONLY because this is too harsh on my skin. It's tooo rough... this is also because my skin type is leaning towards normal combination. This is more likely better suited to those with oilier skin. Again, I prefer gentler exfoliators.

Things I like:
(Warning: There are many… good find this year)

J Lo’s hairstyle



aannndddd… keep reading to find out on what products worth mentioning…


.Revlon Foundation Brush
This paddle brush was an accidental find at a chemist store at less than $10 and has been doing a flawless job at applying my liquid or cream foundation. No complain. I bought 2.

.Cosmetica Manicare Stippling Brush
Perfect to apply my cream blushes (especially the super duper pigmented Illamasqua Libido). Warning, it will shed with application of liquid foundation. So this one is best for powder blush or light application of cream blush. Available at Target.

.MAC 109 brush
I adore and love this brush. I want to cuddle it at night because it is so cute. I stare at it and stroke its bristles… ok, ok you get what I mean. This is finally perfect for contouring my cheeks. Thanks so much to a good friend of mine for gifting me this all the way from the US of A. Next MAC brush list would probably be the 168 and 187 *squeal!

.Random brand eye brushes from IMATS Sydney
400S – 05 (Pencil Crease) – an awesome dupe to MAC 219 (which I don’t have… yet)
473 – 08 (Special Shader) – a dupe to MAC 217 (which I don’t have… yet)
I’ve been using these two brushes all the time! Every time I’m doing my eyes! Seriously!

.Sportsgirl Eyeshadow Brush
Still one of my best eyeshadow brush to apply and press eyeshadows onto my lids. Even applying highlights on my browbone. No shedding or dyeing issues. Soft and sturdy – going strong after all these years.

.Shiseido Eyebrow/Eyeliner Brush
Best. Angled. Eye brush. Ever. I totally love the luxurious metal handle and its cut. Perfect for filling in and defining my eyebrows. Now I just need another one for eyelining. Whee! Tip: Get it at strawberrynet – so much cheaper! Plus, you don’t really need the box, ok.

.Hourglass Blush Brush No. 2
This brush is multifunctional – at least to me. It is named blush brush but I have used it for applying liquid foundation and as of lately, bronzer or darker foundation to contour my face (cheeks in particular). This brush has been with me for 2 years! Can you believe it!? Still in perfect condition. My very first luxurious expensive brush. It has a metal handle just like the Shiseido one as well. My love for Hourglass brand can be found HERE.

.ELF Powder Brush
This is the all black flat top brush. I love this brush for its multifunctionality (you can use it for blush, bronzer, powder, liquid foundation), however it has sadly been made with the lowest quality in terms of the handle. I have about 2 or 3 of this brush (because it is fairly cheap) and none of the handles have hold up. It’s wonky, it’s loose and I had not poured water on to it, okay. The bristles are still alright so I still use this to apply my powder to set my liquid foundation. Or to buff out anything.

Wish they have a bigger version of MAC 130 brush… it’s so small … if there’s a bigger version of it, I think I would want it.

.Gorgeous Cosmetics #024
This was my very first Gorgeous Cosmetics brush and still going strong. It applies blushes, bronzers just at the right amount and right size for my face.

I never thought I would like sponges but they give such a natural finish and can be used to set my undereye. Thank Heavens for sponges!

Yes, the tools that have been given to us naturally… fingers can do so many things, applying eyeshadows, blending, applying cream blushes, applying cream bronzers, applying foundation, applying concealer… anything creamy. =)


Facial Treatment Essence –
I’m in a dilemma when I fell in love with this. It is expensive. I was simply trying out the little samples and now I don’t want to go without it. It contains more than 90% of pitera, which is the main ingredient of the SK-II range. It effectively softens my skin and brightens it, I have a feeling I must thank this product for keeping my skin very baby-bottom’s smooth recently. Though when I look at the price, gasp! faints… yet I will someday get it or wish wish wish that someone give me a present of a big bottle of this.

Facial Treatment Cleanser – this seriously keeps your skin well hydrated and does not dry out your skin. I really like the feeling after cleansing with this, and it still retains its moisture level quite high, my skin feels comfortable and smooth even 10-15 minutes after wash, not that I would really leave it that long normally unmoisturised. I enjoy having moisturised skin and I think this is what has been keeping the oilies at bay because it is not over producing oils to balance the skin (which goes hand in hand with the next cleanser I will mention…)

Replenishing Foaming Cleanser –
Gentle, low-foaming cleanser that softens and brightens my complexion. I really like it and some days I can mix it with exfoliator or oats. I love its scent, of gentle marshmallow and violet. It is also soothing and calming. It feels like rubbing marshmallow all over your face, minus the stickiness. Detailed review HERE

Purely Age Defying Ultra Firm and Lift Serum and Cream – You might want to argue with me and think this product is not suitable for my age. I beg to differ. This has been keeping my skin looking good, as far as I know. I’m savouring the serum and to not use it all up… as yet. While the cream, on the other hand, has managed to last me this long I’m not even 1/4 through it! Yay! To some drier skin types, this may feel a little tight. To those with oily skin types, be warned that you might break out. But somehow for me… it is just the right consistency at night (I use this at night time only) with just a dab and pat pat pat all over my face starting from the outer areas of my face going inwards to the centre. I’ve been doing this motion of applying moisturiser for the past few months and I think it has been doing me wonders. It keeps my oiliness at bay and keeping the drier areas moisturised.

Daily Microfoliant
An award-winning product and I can see why. It decongests. If I’m feeling terribly congested due to a whole day’s work and sweat with makeup on, I will use this at night and my skin will feel fresh and clean. Without the squeaky-ness. Because it microexfoliates, it will also leaves your skin looking brightened and glowy. Subtle effect, but something I’ve always been looking for in an exfoliator. Yet another expensive product, sigh. Review HERE

Skin Hydrating Masque this is a nice thin gel consistency, different to most masks with their paste like texture. It boosts the hydration in your skin whenever you need that extra pick me up.

Enzyme Cleansing Gel –
Finally, not too expensive. Original retail price was AU$35.95 and has been reduced down to $18.95! Squeal! This is a non-foaming cleansing gel that removes your base makeup very well. It has a very refreshing scent and leaves your skin feeling smooth. It does not irritate nor has it given my sister and me… any red patches. Suitable for all skin types, I enjoy its practicality and unbreakable packaging. Perfect for travel, no worry no fuss. Review HERE

Facial Spray Previously AU$22.95, this is now only AU$11.95!! Lovely facial spray that contains aloe and rosewater. Its scent is not overpowering at all and is soothing, refreshing and actually sets my makeup. Totally have to have this in my kit. My sister loves it too and won’t go anywhere without it.

I have enjoyed a lot of skincare goodies this year and it includes the ever so natural plain quick oats. I pour some onto my palm, clench my hands and run water through it, soaking the oats, making it soft and moist. Then the fun begins, as I rub it gently over my cheeks, my forehead, my nose and my neck. You can feel it gently exfoliates your skin without aggravation or any harshness. When the oats softens, you can also feel your skin softens. Baby bottom’s softness – yay! So inexpensive, cheap yet effective. Will always have a container of it in my bathroom. I also love this in the morning. Plain, quick oats…

Lotions (sensitive) –
Pleasantly surprised when I decided to give Olay Complete range a try. However I only pick those products targeted for sensitive skin, because it has almost no scent. I use the daily UV SPF 30+ sunscreen during the day and some nights I alternate with their Olay Moisturising Lotion. Very inexpensive and has not irritated my skin. So, a winner in my eyes.

Fresh Masks
Cupcake, Oatifix, and Brazened Honey are my current favourites, depending on the conditions my skins are in. The novelty of them never wear off on me. Cupcake smells and feels like melted chocolates. Oatifix smells like banana cake. Brazened Honey decongests and so refreshing. The feeling of spreading them over your face, because they’ve been in the fridge, is soooo niiiceeeee!


Eau Roma Water Toner – have been using this for the past 2 years. Has not aggravated or irritated or dry out my skin.

Face sheet masks – on the topic of masks, these are serum-full face paper mache sheet masks that are excellent in hydrating and brightening your skin. Made in Taiwan. Non sticky and non irritating. My sister loves it too. Reviews HERE (Caviar) and HERE (Grape Seed Extract)

I’m not sure where to place this, however because I also enjoy the body wash and hand wash, I shall place this in the skincare category. Small amount goes a long way with this brand. It is most likely due to their percentage of Sodium Laureth Sulfate I am not too sure, I know they have it in the ingredients, but none has caused irritations. It has antibacterial properties – I like.

Foot Soak – leaves my feet feeling refreshed and calming… wonderful after a whole long day standing at work

Moisturiser absorbs quick into the skin, gentle scent, moisturising, non-irritating to my body or my sister’s

(PS: I still want to try the MooGoo range, definitely one of the brands to try in the year 2012)


What I like from them? Their lipsticks with the iconic metal logo casing, beautiful finish and beautiful colours. Creamy, not sticky and lasts a good hour or so.

Skincare range - The Skincare, White Lucent and the idea behind having softener toner that preps the skin for better absorption of moisturisers. Last Winter (June/July in Australia), The Skincare range with the Night Moisture Recharge, Extra Gentle Foaming Cleanser and the Skincare Hydro-Nourishing Softener (3 Steps System) saved my dehydrated flakey skin.

Perfecting Liquid Foundation, Transparent Loose Powder, Cleansing Oil, Foaming Cleansers, Concealer - they generally have great products in store. Including their branch such as Lavshuca (love the eyeshadow quads), Majolica Majorca, etc. I also like their sunscreens.

Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleanser - it smells different, unlike anything else I have smelled before, yet it is rather enticing. It decongests and definitely cleanses your skin. Price point on medium high, even after the price drop. I would love to alternate between this and Lush and Dermalogica if I have all three "decongestants". They are decongestants for my pores.

Cleansers - yes you read that right. Gatsby who usually makes the best hair products - that one - now has their own skincare range with their cleansers as the star of the show, in my opinion. The refreshing cleanser is black in colour, with beads, feels and smells refreshing. I also use this to decongest my congested pores. Their other range includes Brightening, Smoothing and Anti-Acne - they are all generally nice products without causing any break outs. I don't like using them everyday because my skin prefers gentler approach, but some days I use these as spot cleansers. That means I use it only on certain areas on my face. So glad my dad introduced me to this cleanser. Hahha... - PS I love Gatsby Moving Rubber hair wax.

Hallelujah Lime and Patchouli Cleanser - this has been another cleanser saviour, gentle and non foaming creamy cleanser that smells quite different to your normal perfumey scent (to be honest, I now prefer these natural scents than the perfumey scents). This cleanser also able to clean makeup, apply it dry and use a damp face cloth to remove. This comes in a glass bottle pump, so be careful storing it. There are 2 types, too: Natural and Organic - I prefer the Natural one for some reason my skin likes it better. On the plus side, the Natural cleanser is cheaper than the Organic.

Some of their other products worth checking out:
Honey Mask - antibacterial and moisturises the skin
Exfoliator - gentle jojoba beads to exfoliate your skin
Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream - hydrating and comes in huge jar of 30ml
Their face oils are also lovely - for those with dry skins. To those with combination/oily, be warned that this may cause an even more "dewier" effect that some might not be a fond of. Aka, yes, oily.

MAKEUP Category

Face & Body – a current staple of providing a your skin but better look, very natural and blendable and buildable (very lightly). May not be for the oily skins, because it is very dewy. Awesome to mix with thicker foundations to give just the right coverage and finish. You can even mix your high coverage concealer with this for the best of both worlds (great coverage, thin texture to blend easy on your skin)

As you see in the photo below I was wearing a mixture of Face & Body and Mineralize Satinfinish SPF15 foundations (with dabs of the Studio Finish concealer over any blemishes) for the natural finish look. If you’re wondering who’s the lady next to me, that’s my mum – I could not just leave her out of the picture. She’s past her 50 by the way… I swear, that’s a high standard to live up to, when she ages and looks like this in her 50… OTZ …


(taken at Shorncliffe beach, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia – December 2011)

Studio Finish Concealer – it covers and it lasts. Good concealer. Cute little concealer.

Mineralized Skinfinish Natural – what a powder, it never looks cakey never looks too powdery. I can even get away just wearing concealer and this for some of those easy days.

Select Moisturecover – I have this in NW20 for some areas that are more blueish in tone. This is nice and very easy to blend, yet does not last very long but enough for half the day worth. Lately, I’ve been mixing this and the studio finish concealer – result that I really like.

Amplified Lipsticks – still my favourite kind of lipstick out of the entire range of MAC lipsticks. My picks are Morange and Blankety.

Freedom Palette Eyeshadows – shade 348 is my dark eyebrow colour

Shade Kalahoo Matte Eyeshadow – is my daytime, light, eyebrow colour

Cream Blushes – they last a whole day, blends like butter on toasts, beautiful natural colours. My fav is Libido. Swatches available in my previous post HERE

Concealer – another incredible concealer find. This is their standard opaque concealer, creamy and conceals thoroughly. Little pot even has a little mirror – cute!

Powder Blushes – gorgeous range of shades. My pick is Lover (although I don’t even have it… yet) and Ambition (very natural pink rosey flush)

.GORGEOUS Cosmetics
Eyeshadows and Blushes – they are amazing. Huge pan and you literally only need to dab. Loving the colour Hedgehog and so many others (eyeshadow) and for blushes I pick Peach Glow (will get this next week) and Sesame.

Brush Cleaner – the best spot cleaning product for my brushes. You can see it in action HERE

Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner (Made in China) in 02 Brown – this is the Asian edition (I bought this in Indonesia) and I believe the formula is slightly different than those sold in Australia. I have one in brown and it gives me a natural look, does not flake or smudge or fade. It lasts until the time I have to remove it. Definitely much cheaper than Bobbi Brown.

Eyeshadow Primer – Boy, am I surprised to see that this actually works on my lids when some others have failed to do so! I have only been relying on Urban Decay Primer Potion, and gave this a try when it was given at ABBW. Normal retail price is only AUD$11.95! Great!! This helps keeping my eyeshadows intact until I need to remove them.

Have surprised me with their products. The airbrush brush, the bronzer, their liquid foundation and even their powders are not bad! For the price, if you’re looking for something to start out your makeup collection but not having the extra bucks for 1 MAC item, start with this, your $$ will go further with more products (especially when it goes on sale or 3 for 2 deal). Available at Priceline. Click HERE for previous post on the brand.

Total Makeup Remover – it has a lotion gel texture and boy, does it remove makeup. Expensive at approximately AU$56 for 200ml.

Pure Color Lipglosses – not sticky, has enough slip to stay on your lips and lasts for a good hour or two or more!

Foundation Primer - I have this in the all skin type, the standard one, because some parts of my face tends to go oily, some tends to dehydrate, so I needed one for all occasions, with no spf. This is a lotion gel texture that glides smoothly on the skin. It makes application of foundation (liquid or powder or both) ... smooth and easy.

LM also generally has lovely products; mosaic powders, blushes, and their foundations and powders are some base products I would love to try in the future.

Coco Rouge Shine lipsticks - hydrating, lovely sheen and beautiful rose scent - luxurious lipstick nonetheless
They have beautiful lipsticks and lipglosses (Glossimers), and their foundations are of such amazing quality too (Vitalumiere Aqua for the non detectable flawless natural finish as though you're not wearing anything and just have amazing skin!)

Fat Balm - in particular the shade Raspberry... - very natural on cheeks and travel friendly.

I apologise for the long list but I thought I’d share with you my favourites…
it would be easier for both of us to refer to in the future, if ever need to.
I haven't even included the hair products! Oh!

is there anything that I missed but you would like me to mention or talk about?
feel free to let me know, in comment below


what are some of your favourites for 2011?

Wishing each and everyone of you a wonderful New Years Eve and

Happy New Year 2012!

Toasts for lights in the dark of days
And many more opportunities
And for smiles upon your faces


Tram said...

Ah!! I was so excited reading this post because I scrolled down and there were so many things listed haha!

I've heard so much good stuff about the ELF powder brush! Woo!

Request! Can you please do a review on the Models Prefer brushes you own?!!?!!?!? ^_^ They look quite lovely in Priceline which gets me excited everytime I pass! :)

As for meeeee... Definitely the Dermalogica Hydrating Masque (that you mentioned).. Sometimes, I just want to use it as a moisturizer LOL! And the NYX Doll Eye Mascara too that I've been using lately :)

Too many to mention in this comment box actually! ^_^

Have a lovely New Year !


P.S. Even though Aunty is wearing sunnies.. she DOES NOT look 50!!!! !!! ^_^

Girlie Blogger said...

Thanks for the very comprehensive list. Good choices in both categories, although I am surprised you didn't like Shisheido products. They usually make good stuff.

E.L.F powder - total love.

Cendana K said...

@GirlieBlogger: Hi, actually I do like Shiseido products - the Skincare, White Lucent skincare range, the brush, their lipsticks too - might have to edit my list or hope the readers don't mind it getting longer as I edit haha

@Tram: I don't actually own that many Models Prefer brushes because I already have other brushes. The only one I would probably recommend is the Airbrush one that mimics Sephora #55. Their wooden bronzer brush shed like no tomorrow - maybe I'll review them in next year :)

Cendana K said...

@GirlieBlogger: Oh! Did you mean the Perfect Oil (blue bottle) I mentioned? I think it's from their Asian only product branches, and it just does not seem to be comparable to other Shiseido standards! =) I hope it was no misunderstanding, I still love Shiseido products overall.

SilhouetteScreams said...

So many products I now have to Google! I loved Models Prefer, I discovered them last Christmas when I got a neutral eyeshadow palette from them and I'm just so stupidly happy that they have their own stand at Priceline now. Like a proud Momma bear haha /weird

I wonder if that Garnier spray smells as bad as these Sunsilk straightening shampoo and conditioners that I got for free *pukes*

Rosemary said...

Oh wow! I love that you included "misses" as well. Good for you! So many of these are my favourites too. And you've given me a nice list of lovely things to try!!! :)

Popblush said...

Wow, thanks for the list of likes. You're making me want to try some of them. I haven't tried any Gorgeous cosmetics but I have gone in their store a few times and wondered what they were like. I am always looking for a good blush brush so might have a look at the #024.

Re: I am starting to get so obsessed with the scents of LUSH products! I still haven't started using any of the items I purchased but I am so content with how the room smells! Haha. I want to try more of their skincare and soaps too.