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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tutorial: Emina's Colorful Palette

I made a really easy tutorial with Emina Cosmetics' Colorful eyeshadow trio! This is perfect for monolids, and also almond shaped eyes or Asian eyes with a small crease!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review & Recommendation: Pyewacket Potions (All 10 Scents!)

I was offered free samples of all of  Pyewacket Potions scents and I said yes since I haven't tried new perfumes in ages. My collection is just unmanageable right now, so I've been on a strict no buy. I think my current perfume collection can last me a decade or two. >.<

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General Perfume Overview


The throw of the perfumes vary greatly depending on what notes are in it. Their citronella notes are definitely intense, and you can easily fill an entire room with it. Generally, these scents are usually around casual conversation distance and it lasts about 1 1/2 hours before they fade and leave lingering traces on your skin.

In general, I think  Pyewacket Potions is great at creating these clean, herbal scents that makes you think of romanticized cottages and castles by a meadow, where everyone is naturally scented with herbs (the clean and fresh kind, not the medicinal, earthy kind)  or soap. Basically, scents that bring you here:
Gorgeous photo by Francesco Riccardo Iacomino

The scents that smell like you've just washed in soap instead of wearing a perfume are definitely their forte.

Unfortunately, they do have some foodie, fruity scents, and those are the scents I'm personally not a fan of since they lean on the artificial side. Then again, some people do like the artificial fruit scent, so I get their inclusion in the scent catalogue. They're just not for me.

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Review Notes


As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. If any of the notes surprise me, I write an overview. I've also started adding a "Final Verdict" section to help me keep track of my perfumes and figure out what to destash, since my perfume collection is starting to get messy. Here are the categories I came up with for my "Final Verdict":


  • Love: Most awesome perfume ever. Need endless supplies of it and will swap my first born child for the last drops of it if it's limited edition. 
  • Like: I like it and may buy a full size of it, but it's not urgent. 
  • Interesting: I don't really like it or I don't think I  can wear it in public, but I appreciate the artistry of the scent. It's like a beautiful but unwearable runway piece you won't buy on your own, but don't mind owning.
  • Ok: It's okay. I like it enough, but may destash for a good price to keep my collection manageable. 
  • Destash: Kill it with fire.
  • Age it: Maybe it will smell good one day. One day. Just wait.


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Cola Bottles

"Just what it says on the bottle; natural citrus fruit and spice essential oils, popularly used for a caffeine-free energy boost, with a sweet nature-identical caramel fragrance and real vanilla absolute, all makes a cola with a good kick!"

You definitely smell that Lipsmackers "cola" scent as soon as you open the bottle and that's the scent that dominates when I first applied it on my skin. There's a lemon cream scent too, and while it's the most delicious cream scent, I really don't like this artificial cola mixed into it.

After about 5-10 min, the cola scent starts taking on a camphorous smell and the cream mixed into it ends up smelling like those artificial, cloying cream scents that smells almost "play dough-ish". I'm trying to power through this scent but it's hard.

At around 15 min, I'm getting this sour curdled milk sort of scent...I think the lemon is actually a vanilla or cream scent going sour on me. Luckily, by about 30 min, the sourness finally disappears. Now it's just cool, camphorous artificial cola with hints of something creamy. It's not bad considering how bad it was, but I'm still not a fan.

When it fades, it actually leaves this gorgeous sugary marshmallow scent on my skin that I just love, but it takes so long to get there. I think I'll age it and see if I get more of the marshmallow.

TL;DR: Camphorous artificial cola with something creamy.

Final Verdict: Age it.


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Hand-Drawn "Cassy"


"Delicious chocolate and banana milkshake with lashings of vanilla cream, gooey butterscotch sauce, chopped hazelnuts, a dusting of nutmeg, and a sweet cherry on top, with just a hint of woody cedar pencil and paper in the background."

The first thing that explodes is that artificial strawberry candy scent. There's hints of something that's possibly chocolatey, but it's mostly strawberry bubblegum at the moment. I like it, and I'm craving strawberry bubblegum right now, but it's not exactly what I'd go for in a perfume.

After about 3-5 min, the tartness subsides slightly and now there's an artificial banana scent too. It smells like a banana-strawberry chocolate bubblegum, which sounds like an awesome idea and someone should make that flavour now.

Around 10 min in, I'm getting this light, icy coolness that I've started associating with this brand after trying out all their perfumes. It adds a complexity to the scent, but it's still bubblegum – chocolate, strawberry, banana mint flavoured bubblegum. That sounds epic and I need someone to make it ASAP.

The bananas are sadly gone by 15-20 min. That banana note always disappears so quickly on me, so this is something I expected. Now it's just strawberry chocolate minty bubblegum.

It's a really cute scent, and something I find absolutely delicious, but it's not exactly what I'd want to smell like. I really do want a bubblegum that tastes like this though. My husband loves this, but he thinks with his stomach. I don't want him chomping me in his sleep, so I'll have to remember not to wear it before bed...

TL;DR: Chocolate, strawberry, banana mint flavoured bubblegum

Final Verdict: Interesting

Overview: Don't get me wrong, this smells like the most delicious bubblegum ever, so that's great. Unfortunately, I'm too old to smell like bubblegum.


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No More Monsters


"...a dark woody background of patchouli, cedar, and dill, lit up with a gentle glow of fresh bergamot mint"

Ok, the first thing that hit me was minyak kayu putih, or cajeput oil. If you're Indonesian, you'll recognize this scent because you'll smell it wherever there's young kids. The scent is similar to tea tree oil –icy, herbal and sharp. I'm not sure if it's just me, but I personally find minyak kayu putih sharper than tea tree OIL.

After about 10 min, I get a cool, very sweet minty candy scent too. If you're Indonesian, it smells like Relaxa (it's a sweet mint candy). Relaxa and minyak kayu putih. It's so Indonesian. The minyak kayu putih definitely dominates, and it's so strong, my entire car is filled with the scent. I left the bottle in my car by mistake, and the car smelled like minyak kayu putih for at least 2 more days.

20 min in, I'm unfortunately getting a slightly herbal, medicinal scent, so now it smells like a sick Indonesian baby with scents of minyak kayu putih & jamu (traditional Indonesian herbal medicine). The sweet mint candy scent is gone for now, but it returns about 1 1/2 hours in. As the scent dries down, it smells like woody Relaxa with hints of minyak kayu putih.

I think it's hard for me to separate my cultural associations from this scent. I think it's probably a pleasant scent to a lot of people, but to me, it's like the American equivalent of dousing yourself in baby oil and eating some mints, and calling it your signature scent.

TL;DR: Minyak kayu putih and Relaxa.

Final Verdict: Ok.


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One Groovy Room


"Our most popular blend so far! Real cannabis oil (non-psychoactive, sorry) boosted with a lightly musty trace of vetiver, blended with earthy patchouli, rich dragon’s blood incense, and a juicy mix of orange, dewberry, and a hint of strawberry. Psychedelic! Try it if you like Lush’s Karma; it’s not a dupe, but it has the same orange-patchouli theme."

This is the scent that somehow doesn't really show up against my skin and I have to get close to an intimate whispering level before I catch a whiff. That works out though, because this is smelling so weird on me. It smells like anise & tobacco, two things I hate on their own, and hate even more together. It smells like a sickly old man popping cough drops while smoking like a chimney. After 2-3 min, I think I smell hints of something chocolaty, but it's still mostly cough drops and tobacco.

Oh wow...after about 10 min, this fresh, citrus water scent emerges and the anise and tobacco scents are fading. I may start to like this scent.

I do like how fresh this citrus water scent is –it really just smells like water lightly scented by citrus peels –but 40 min into this scent and that liquorice scent is still domineering.

As it dries down, it becomes this cloyingly sweet, musty tobacco and liquorice scent...like liquorice and tobacco that have been left in a musty, hot room for too long. Not a fan.

TL;DR: Liquorice candy melting over musty tobacco with hints of citrus.

Final Verdict: Destash

Overview: What is causing the liquorice scent???


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Panacea

"An all-natural blend of oils traditionally used to promote wellness. Both refreshing and soothing; lavender, eucalyptus, frankincense, clary sage, lemon, tea tree, and mint."

Ok, this is another perfume that smells like minyak kayu putih, only it's less spicy and I'd put it closer to eucalyptus oil. That's the scent that's dominant so right now so it's hard to identify anything else. The scent clears my sinuses like crazy, so that's great. I think I smell hints of something sweet, but I can't really pick it out since the eucalyptus oil scent is dominating. I have a knot in my neck right now and I have an urge to massage it with this oil. 

After about 5 min, the stinging eucalyptus calms down and I can finally smell the other notes. There's soothing, honeyed lavender in it too, and clean, fresh herbs I can't identify. It smells like a romanticized countryside kitchen. The kind that people shoot engagement photos in and appear in interior design magazines, but not the kind you cook in because there's no way it'll smell this great once you use it. 
For posing purposes only.
Awesome pic by Maksim Mashnenko

It's so clean and soothing and I love it. After about 20 min in, you even get this watery scent that's so gorgeous. It's not a blue scent, it's this metallic cool scent that makes you think of cool, crystalline waters. If you're familiar with Possets' silver note, it's like that. 

Wow...I really love this scent the longer it goes on. It's just a cool, natural elegant scent that smells more like you've been working with dried flowers and herbs the whole day instead of wearing a perfume. It's just gorgeous!

TL;DR: Honeyed lavender with clean, fresh herbs and cool, crystalline water.

Final Verdict: Love


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Sleep Well


"Magnolia leaf, honeysuckle, cananga, and ylang ylang."

Oh this is gorgeous! Honeyed ylang ylang with minty lemon tea. Yes, it's that same minty scent that's so signature of Pyewacket Potions. I'm not sure if it's just the cultural associations I have with ylang ylang, but I think I smell hints of wood too. In Indonesia, you usually smell ylang ylang in traditional Balinese spas that are usually in wooden houses. It really makes me think of some elegant movie mom, probably played by Nicole Kidman, tucking kids into bed.

Arranging babysitting with elegance..
Elegant shot by Olena Zaskochenko


About 10 min in, everything is melded together and you can't really pick out individual notes. It just smells like a powdery, cool yellow florals scent that you can find see an elegant mother wearing.

By about 20 min, it's a clean watery scent that makes me think like you've just washed yourself with a really expensive, high end soap bar instead of wearing a perfume. It's gorgeous and really subtle. I'm a fan.

TL;DR: Powdery, yellow florals scent that's perfect for an elegant, serene lady.

Final Verdict: Love.

Overview: I looked up cananga and it's just the tree that produces ylang ylang flowers.


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Star of the County Down


"Lots of fresh green grass with hazelnuts brown as her hair, sweet honey (non-vegan, sorry), and a lush mingling of chamomile, blooming roses, and marjoram."

I immediately got something green and fresh, like the perfumed interpretation of young shoots, but it's mixed with this odd, savoury scent that makes me bacang –glutinous rice wrapped in leaf –that's been left out for too long.
Image courtesy of yuliduryat.wordpress.com
Luckily, by about 5 min, my skin amps up the green, so now it smells like a fresh, unisex green scent that makes you think of prancing around in a forest in the morning. There's hints of this wilted scent that clashes with the overall scent to me. I'm hoping it'll go away.

By 15 min, the scent is amaaaazing. It's a fresh, clean scent with a subtle hint of fruity sweetness that makes me think of mangoes, but you can't really identify it. It's really great now. It's light, cool, and the sweetness is subtle and elegant while still being fresh. Makes me think of a forest sprite with a crown of berries. 

As it dries down, it just gets this fresh, clean scent like the lingering traces of scent a soap leaves on your skin. A fancy soap that's meant to capture the scent of a lush field of grass surrounding a forest. The kind of fancy soap masquerading as something so rustic and down-to-earth, but you know costs a bomb. The kind that would be advertised this way.

You know that can is empty. No way her mom would risk mud splattered on her picture perfect baby.
Adorable pic by Ekaterina Efremova

TL;DR: A forest sprite with a crown of berries. 

Final Verdict: Like. 

Overview: Would be love, but the first 5 min scares me. I don't know if aging will amplify the first 5min or reduce it. Looking at the notes, I think this will age amazingly so I think this may change to "love"!



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The Sculpture

"A leather-and-stone, creepy, raspy brown musk with cinnamon, vetiver, and cruelty-free civet, splattered with raspberries oozing mysteriously from nowhere. Recommended for those who prefer something a little unusual."

I got this odd mix of cinnamon candies, camphor and dirt at first whiff. There's a hint of something nutty too. It definitely takes a while for the scent to settle, and for the first 5-10 min, I just keep getting whiffs of individual notes that seem to clash with each other –sandalwood, camphor, sickly sweet candy...

Finally, it settled to a scent that makes me think of old wooden chests and cinnamon soda. The cinnamon soda bit is a tad sickly sweet to me.

My skin tends to amp up the old wooden chest bit, so it's not that bad by 20 min, but the cinnamon soda scent wafts up every now and then. I don't know about this scent...I really want to destash, but I just get the feeling this may turn into something awesome with aging. I think I'll try aging it.

TL;DR: Old wooden chests,  and sugary sweet cinnamon soda.

Final Verdict: Age it.

Overview: Ok, after reading the notes, I don't think this would get better on me so I may be destashing it. 


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Yamato Nadeshiko 

"The Wildflower of Nippon; the wise, gentle, and dignified ideal of traditional Japanese womanhood. A perfectly poured cup of fresh green tea touched with soft lemon blossoms, iris root, peony, and pink rose, with a subtle but strong backbone of myrrh."

Omg this is lovely. There's a very light rose in this, but not the heavy, heady rose that makes you think of old lady perfumes. This is a very light rose that makes you think of young women and a fresh bouquet. There are other florals I can't identify, that just turns this into a clean, elegant, pink floral scent that's very light and young. There's a hint of something woody that gives the scent a stately elegance, balancing the scent out so it doesn't get too bright and young. 

My skin loves amping up sweetness, so after about 10 min, the scent is getting pretty sweet. I still like it though. It just smells like you're scented naturally with soap and a bath of rose petals. 

Unfortunately, by 15 min, the roses started getting heady and heavy so it's a tad too much for me. It's still pretty, but I start getting that headache strong rose scents give me. The heady rose keeps getting stronger and stronger, but they stop getting headache inducing about an hour in. It's still the dominant scent though. I'm kinda sad my skin amps up the rose, because the original scent is really gorgeous. I think I'll try aging this.

TL;DR: Heady rose soap. 

Final Verdict: Like. 

Overview: Ok, I hate the heady rose, but I really, really love the first 10 min so I end up at "like". I think if the rose wasn't so strong on this, I'd go nuts over this scent. I'm not surprised it's so complex, given how amazing the first 10 min is. But the rose just went crazy on me, and it could be a skin chemistry issue. I'll still recommend it, unless the rose does go crazy on every skin chemistry. 


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1-555-BUG-BASH

"An all-natural blend of oils commonly used as natural insect repellents. Flies, mosquitoes, spiders, snails; will bash any bug, big or small! Sharp, fresh, light, and green fragrance, unisex, great for summer. Mint, thyme, marjoram, cedar, and citronella."

Very strong citronella mingled with lemon candy. There's something tingly in this too. This definitely smells like something I'd like to slather all over my body. I'm not sure if it's supposed to happen or I'm imagining it, but the spot I applied the scent on feels cool & tingly.

I think I've just associated citronella so much with mosquito repellent, that this smells like one of those natural mosquito repellents. I like it because it feels cool and tingly instead of hot and itchy like a lot of mosquito repellents, but given how expensive perfume oils are, I'm not sure if I'd pay this much for a better mosquito repellent. 

Don't get me wrong, I do like it, and it smells more complex than plain citronella oil for sure –I get more mint and a hint of something herbal after about 5 min. After 10 min, it smells like summer time –mosquito repellent, greenery, and a sugary lemon tea. It makes me think of children running around while women in light, yellow summer dresses drink sweet, lemon tea in a immaculately clean patio......but I still smell mostly like an all-natural mosquito repellent. Especially since around 25-30 min in, the herbal scent intensifies to give this a medicinal feel.

Pet safe natural mosquito repellent!
Adorable shot by Elena Shumilova


45 min in, the sugary lemon tea and greenery scent has gone, leaving behind herbal citronella. Ok, all natural mosquito repellent for sure. Oh, and I'm definitely not imagining the cool, tingly feeling. Maybe there's a strong mint in this? Definitely something to watch out for if you're allergic, but for me, this makes it so perfect for a hot summer day.

This will definitely be my scent of choice when I'm going outdoors so I can repel the mosquitoes, but I think psychologically, I can't get over the mosquito repellent association so I can't see myself paying perfume prices for it. 

TL;DR: Natural mosquito repellent, improved.



Final Verdict: Like

Overview: Honestly, if this is cheaper, in larger quantities and lasts longer, it'll be my holy grail mosquito repellent.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Euroskinlab DESTROYED My Face (RESOLVED!)

UPDATE:

After I uploaded this, my friend contacted me saying she knows someone from Euroskinlab who could help me out. Her friend connected me with one of their shareholders & and someone from top management, and we had a meeting on Aug 9. The meeting went very well, fortunately.

They apologized on behalf of the team, since there was a communication screw up and what happened should not have happened.They say upper management have discussed this since 2 weeks ago (so around July 22-29) and planned on reimbursing me. Unfortunately, they were waiting on their legal team to draft up the agreement and they apologized for not updating me during the process.

They've reimbursed me for the cost of getting this treated with a doctor I trust, so I'm really happy with their shareholders & management team.


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So. Let me detail my nightmarish experience with Euroskinlab, a member of Euromedica....if you prefer a video, you can watch here:




May 16


Got invited to try a facial with Euroskinlab. They offered a cortisone injection for my cystic acne. I've been treating my cystic acne this way since I was a teenager and never had an issue before, so I went for it.

1-2 weeks later


Started noticing a slight dent. Thought it was in my mind or it'll go away, so I didn't worry. It kept getting larger.

1 month later

The dent is very noticeable and getting worrying. Planned a trip to Singapore to ask Dr Yong what's causing it. Still thought it was aging related at this moment.

29 June

Saw Dr Yong, he confirmed it was caused by the acne injection and it's because they used too high of a dose. I immediately contacted Euroskinlab, but the salesperson said she needed to check with the doctors and they were currently on leave thanks to lebaran. I was fine with waiting until the holidays are over, so I didn't contact her again.

Translation:
Good evening, is it a hole like from an acne scar or something else?
The clinic happens to be close until July 3, and I'm only in on July 8..I'll have to check first and ask the doctor if it's really from the injection from Euroskinlab.


Translation:
Me: The dent is larger than acne scarring. I've checked with a doctor and this is from a wrongly administered injection.
Her: Sorry in advance Ms. Francesca, none of our doctors have caused scarring from the injection before. I have to ask the doctor and check your data first. As far as I know, acne injections are just normal injections and nothing complicated.

Translation: Morning Ms Francesca, ok, I'll check first on the status...
But the clinic is only opened on the 3rd, and I'm only bak at work on July 8, so I'll ask the doctor about it then ok..

 July 10


Checked on the status since I haven't gotten a reply, and was asked to come in to the office. Got an appointment for July 11.


July 11


So far, everything's kinda chill. The first person I met is the saleslady I normally talk to and the doctor that injected me. I like the doctor, she's nice, and I think it's a goof up anyone can do. She was honest about how I just needed time to heal, but she suggested a laser treatment to reduce the redness. I told her I wasn't comfortable with anymore treatments with Euroskinlab, and wanted to stick to Dr Jonathan Yong in Singapore, because he's been the one making my skin look amazing for the past 2-3 years.

What kind of annoyed me was her insistence that this has never happened before. Look, you messed up, apologize and offer a solution. Don't try to act like the patient you messed up is some kind of crazy exceptional case.

They brought in another person, I'm not sure if she's a doctor as well, but she's from Singapore. She apologized again, and this was when I proposed that if they were truly sorry, can they reimburse me to cost of treating this? She immediately told me that the only solution they can offer was that I get further treatments from Euroskinlab. I told her that I'm not going to trust Euroskinlab with my skin again. What if they mess up my face again?

She left and brought in someone from management and this person was the worst. She was apologizing effusively and was all smiles, but kept interrupting me while I was talking and pretty much went along the lines of how they will not compensate me for any treatment, unless I do it with them.

I repeated my point again. And this is where the service got really bad. She tried implying that since it's been so long since it happened, there was nothing they can do. I interrupted her and gave her the chronology.

She asked Vera if they took pictures of my face, if there was pictures of the acne. Great. Now they're trying to weasel out of admitting it's their fault again. Fortunately, thanks to beauty blogging, I took pictures of my face daily, so I can actually show them many, many pictures of my skin, before,and after the treatment to corroborate my story.

No dent so far.


Dent started appearing and kept getting deeper.



This is where I'm really pissed. What if I'm just some normal customer who isn't a beauty blogger and doesn't have pictures of my face daily? Would that mean they'll just shrug and say, "Too bad! Can't prove it!"

Wtf.

Anyway, she threw the responsibility back at me by saying that there's nothing she can do until I get a letter from Dr Yong stating what's wrong, how my face can be treated and how much it'll cost. Only then, we can move forward with our conversation.

July 12


Sent the letter from Dr Yong. Waited for a reply.



July 20


Asked about what the status is since it's been a week and there's no reply from them. I was told I needed to wait another week for their manager to call me, because s/he is in Surabaya and I'll have to wait for him/her to return to Indonesia. Obviously, I got upset since it turned out they haven't even talked to their management. I asked her if it would be faster if I called them out publicly, and that's when I got 2 phone calls from them.

The first phone call is from the rude lady I dealt with before. She was very rude, defensive and sarcastic. She insisted they already offered to make it right by offering further treatments at their clinic. I repeated to her again that I'm not comfortable returning to their clinic when they've messed up such a simple procedure.

The second phone call is from a very sweet woman and I feel bad for her. I told her that I understand her hands are tied, and I don't blame her personally for this. She insisted she wanted to see me in person, but I told her I busy and would be traveling soon, so I told her she could just talk to me over the phone. She insisted it would be better to speak in person. I asked her if she could guarantee that Euroskinlab's position will change if I met her in person, and she couldn't.

She then told me she wanted to see me to check out the damage. I told her I've sent a picture since June 29, and I've already gone to Euroskinlab in person and met 3 different people. She seemed surprised about that and told me she'll look at my files to see the picture.....which annoyed me because it meant that no one bothered giving her my files. Does Euroskinlab destroy faces so often that it's not a big deal?

July 21


Euroskinlab finally sent an official response:



Translation:

Thank you for your trust in our services at Euroskinlab (ESL), Iskandarsyah branch. 
With regards to the information about your skin condition (right cheek) that you experienced after receiving treatment, the Euromedica Management would like to extend our apologies for your discomfort and will take this into consideration to improve our service quality.
With this letter, we also wish to offer a solution to fix this issue by inviting you to drop by our clinic. Our team will wait for your earliest availability so we can resolve this at once. 
We greatly hope you will confirm soon. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact our Customer Care call center via xxxxx.

Here was my reply:

Hi, 
I've already gone to your clinic on July 11 and met your doctors. Is there anything different planned for this visit? I don't have time to keep traveling to your clinic, especially when no new information or resolution comes out of the meeting.  
I've alerted you to the issue since June 29. I was informed everyone was on holiday, so I didn't mind waiting until July 11 until I could meet the Euroskinlab team. I met 3 people who all told me the same thing —that Euroskinlab will only offer further treatments in Euroskinlab to fix the crater you put on my face. The 3rd person I met even questioned why it took me so long to contact Euroskinlab & whether the crater was already present in the first place. Fortunately for me, I had pictures to prove my story.  
I am NOT comfortable receiving further treatments from Euroskinlab, especially since laser treatments and fillers carry higher risks than the cortisoid shot you messed up. I rather go to my own doctor and reimburse the costs with Euroskinlab.  
I was told that any decision from Euroskinlab is dependent on a letter from my doctor, which I got and sent the next day on July 12.  
I received no update until I contacted Euroskinlab again on July 20, 8 days later. I was informed that management was in Surabaya, and I'd have to wait another week for any decision. Only after I threatened to take the story public did I finally get 2 phone calls. 
The first was from the same rude and racist woman who kept interrupting me and telling me that I could pick one of Euroskinlab's foreign doctors to fix the crater on my face. As if Indonesian doctors are somehow subpar. I kept stressing that accidents can happen, but what matters is that you take responsibility for them. Yet Euroskinlab refuses to do so, and it even took you took another day (23 days after I informed you of the problem & 10 days after my visit to the clinic) before you even issued an official apology? Does Euroskinlab destroy their clients' faces that often, that this is something that does not concern you at all? 
The 2nd lady who called me was lovely and she wanted to meet in person. I informed her that my schedule is currently packed and I do not have time to meet her in person, but she's free to talk to me over the phone or over email. I also informed her that I do not see the point of another meeting if Euroskinlab will simply reiterate the same points.  
Yet here is the apology email you sent, asking me for another meeting. I will only attend the meeting if Euroskinlab offers the solution I initially proposed, which is to reimburse me for the cost of fixing the crater you put on my face, with a doctor I trust.  
Now it's no longer about the money. I'm just horrified by the terrible way you treat your customers, and I really want to go public with this story to prevent more women from getting their faces destroyed by your clinic.  
-Francesca


July 26


Everything was silent until this day, when they asked me to send me their ID. They cannot offer me a good reason for why they need my ID, and it's sketchy as hell.


Translation:
Good evening Ms Francesca, if you're not busy, can you send me your id..we really need it for our data. Thank you

I just need your government ID, because it's needed and it's now one of our requirements

The ID is one of the requirements so the process will be easier

We're looking for the best solution for Ms Francesca...so it can be a win-win solution

Translation:
We don't have any other intention, it's purely for our data.

Ok, Ms.


Meanwhile, the dent just keeps getting deeper.





Friday, July 21, 2017

Review, Swatches & Recommendation: Limnit Lip Gloss

DISCLAIMER: I got these for free, but I was in no way obliged to post a public review & all opinions are mine. Trina did give a 10% off code I can share (WORKINGWITHMONOLIDS), but I do not make any money out of it. :)

Now with that out of the way.....

As you all know, I'm a diehard fan of Limnit and have recommended them before on this blog....as well as many, many, many times on Reddit. I love this brand. So when Trina, the owner, asked me if I'd like to be one of the first few people to try out her new lip glosses, obviously I said yes. 

Atomic Azalea, Fearless Firecracker, Everyday Effervescence



These lip glosses only come in 3 colours at the time being, and here's the description from Limnit:

  • Everyday Effervescence: true yellow-orange lip gloss packed with a mixture of copper, gold, and red shimmer  
  • Fearless Firecracker: red orange lip gloss packed with a mixture of gold, red, and pink shimmer 
  • Atomic Azalea: a slightly warm, watermelony lip gloss with cool pink, purple and red shimmer


So let's get on to the good part first...the swatches!

Atomic Azalea, Fearless Firecracker, Everyday Effervescence





First of all, I'll put a disclaimer right here. I generally don't like glosses since I find them messy and my hair gets stuck in them, but at the same time, Limnit is my favourite brand, so it's hard not to be biased. With that being said, I'll be as fair as possible with my review!

Colour


Ok, my camera isn't doing them justice. They're really sparkly and in real life, I can see the duochrome highlight, especially in Atomic Azalea. These are sheer glosses, and while I normally don't like sheer glosses since my lips are often peeling and sheer glosses highlight this in an unflattering way, this is great for creating that blotted, messy lips look that's so popular in Korea right now.  Here's an example of that look using Fearless Firecracker & Stop And Smell The Roses (new shade!)

Limnit, swatch




Wear


Like all glosses, these aren't really long lasting and I don't expect them to be. They also transfer easily, which again is common for glosses and why I hate glosses. The great thing is that these do NOT bleed and they're not sticky at all, which impressed me. I find that brands have a hard time striking the balance between non-sticky and non-bleedy, and Limnit got it right. So yeah, I'm impressed.

Comfort


10/10. They totally win for this. I mentioned they're non-sticky, but they're so comfortable on your lips too. They're not drying at all, but they don't feel greasy either. For my swatches, I messed up during the video and had to reapply everything all over again. Even then, my lips were ok. It just feels like you're using a lip balm so I'm a huge fan of it.

Ingredients

And comes a slightly boring part that I've decided to start doing in my reviews...ingredient analysis. Here are the ingredients:
Hydrogenated Polyisobutene (and) Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer (and) Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric/Stearic Glycerides, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Microcrystalline Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Ozokerite Wax, Fragrance, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cetyl Alchol, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C); May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Mica (77019), Tin Oxide (778161), Synthetic Fluorophylogopite (77019), Silica, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate

As you can see, these are vegan and as always, cruelty-free. Quick check with CosDNA shows that everything's safe & non-irritating, though some of the more acne prone may want to watch out for the cocoa seed butter. I'm acne-prone myself, but I've been using them for a week and haven't had any issues so it's not something I'd worry too much about.

These glosses are definitely rich in butters and oils, and I suspect that's why they're so comfortable to wear. So A+ for formula!


Would I repurchase? Yes.

So for those of you who prefer watching a video and want to see videos of face swatches, here's the video I posted on YouTube:




Oh and bonus swatch of a new Limnit lipstick shade, Stop And Smell The Roses:






Thursday, July 6, 2017

Pick My Makeup: Episode 1

Ok, so I went on instagram and posted a few random eyeshadows and lip products I picked out blindly on my stories, and asked my followers to pick my makeup.



I thought I'll just leave it up for a minute or so, and end up with just 1-2 replies....but I ended up with wayyy too many too fast. So here's the craziness I had to wear...


Yes. That's 3 lip products & 5 eyeshadows.

So here's the look I came up with!





Check out the video of the process!



SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Monday, June 26, 2017

Tutorial: Super Simple Rainbow Ombré Liner!

Happy Pride everyone! So if you're looking for inspiration for Pride makeup, here's a really simple, beginner friendly look you can do!


If you prefer a video tutorial of this look, check out the video instead!


Friday, June 23, 2017

April-May 2017 Skincare Routine

Ok, I've been bad at keeping this updated, but I did a lot of traveling in April & May, that my skincare routine kind of went out of whack. So...here's some updates to significant changes in my skin:

  • 2 Week Trip to Korea early May: This ironically made me breakout, because I decided to survive on samples and have a whole new skincare routine. I guess the months of great skin make me forget how fragile and acne prone my skin actually is. Plus this included a sudden change in weather and diet. 
  • Running out of my supplements: My digestive system isn't the best thanks Sjögren's, so I need to take probiotics, magnesium, HCl and digestive enzymes supplements. I messed up and ran out of one after the other during these few months, and getting replacements take me a week or two since I need someone to bring them over from Singapore. My skin broke out so much.
  • Anaemia struck: I bleached out badly so none of my foundations match. I ended up going bare faced most days and when I do wear makeup, I only use concealer on spots. This may have helped clear the breakout faster. 
So yeah, my skincare routine had to change to one that combats acne. Oh, and I had to go to the dermatologist to get a shot for the intense cystic acne that popped along my jawline. They're so bad, I'm still dealing with the post-inflamation hyperpigmentation. 


April-May 2017 Skincare Routine


Now, for my skincare routine as of April-May 2017, with reviews. I'm constantly trying out new products, so this will change every month. Bolded items are tried & tested holy grail items I strongly recommend, the rest are items I'm meh about or still testing out. New items are in red.


AM:

  • Mermete's Boryeong Mud Cleanser: like Glam Glow's mud cleanser, I love it, but it's too expensive, looking for a dupe
  • Wipe down with CosRX's Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol: This is amazing. It really helped me fight my new breakouts. 
  • Sulwhasoo First Activating Serum: my skin got really good since I used this, because it really does help your skin absorb everything better. When I ran out of this, I find my serums and moisturizers swimming around in my face and refusing to get absorbed.
  • It's Skin Power 10 Formula VC Effector: no one can tell me the percentage of Vitamin C in contains, so I'm not happy about it. It doesn't seem as strong as my previous Vitamin C serums, but there's no noticeable adverse effects yet, so I'm going to just use it until I run out.
  • Vitacreme B12's Vita Blanc: I notice this really helped fade some of my hyperpigmentation. It's not a magic formula that'll make them disappear completely, but the fading is noticeable enough that this is worth using.
  • Hada Labo serum Anti-Aging versionthis has retinoids to combat breakouts too!  
  • Sulwhasoo ginseng eye cream: this is magic. The sunken holes under my eyes started disappearing
  • Wojin Effect's Baby Glow Cream: I'm still torn on this. On one hand it feels very thick and sticky going on, but it doesn't feel greasy at all. My face looks so juicy and glowy after using this, BUT it also has this white cast that takes forever to rub out. I can't recommend this to someone with a darker skin tone at all. Does an amazing job moisturizing me, so I'll be using it until I finish it. Probably won't repurchase it if I can find a better daytime moisturizer.
  • Anessa's suncreen: I like it, and just like Biore's Perfect Face Milk, it doesn't leave me greasy and feels amazing going on. It doesn't leave the powdery texture that Biore does, so it's not that great of a makeup primer, but I way prefer this sunscreen's scent. But for the price, Biore's perfect face Milk is more worth it. 


PM:

  • L'Oreal Micellar Water makeup remover: I moved on to water based makeup removers since oil-based ones were breaking me out. I've tried Garnier's & Bioderma's too, but L'Oreal's is the best since it wipes off my makeup as well as Garnier, but doesn't sting my eyes as much
  • Marmete's Boryeong Mud Cleanser
  • Wipe down with CosRX's Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol
  • Sulwhasoo First Activating Serum
  • It's Skin Power 10 Formula VC Effector
  • Hada Labo serum Anti-Aging version  
  • Sulwhasoo's Time Treasure Renovating Eye Serum: I think at this point of my life, 2 eye creams are an overkill so I don't see much of a difference. This makes it easier for me to give myself eye massages though, so I use it. Don't think I'll repurchase given the price.
  • Sulwhasoo ginseng eye cream
  • Vitacreme B12: this is for moisturization. It may be good, but I think my skincare is already so intense, it didn't make much of a difference. 
  • Etude House's Age Defense Firming Cream: (used only for 1 week) feels so heavy and greasy on my skin, and takes forever to rub in. I suspect this was making my breakout worse, so I nixed it. 
  • Etude House collagen sleeping pack: get this. Everyone I recommended it to got glowing, plump cheeks. May not make a difference if you're early 20s and younger, but in your late 20s, it's the difference between late 20s and early 20s


Every other day at night:


  • Sheet masks: I'm a fan of anything by Leader's Brand, except the masks that come in stiff hard paper that just falls off my face, and anything with ginseng or snail. My Beauty Diary is my favourite budget face masks, and the brands I most frequently buy are Etude House, Innisfree & The Face Shop just because they're easy to access in Singapore. Also just discovered Holika Holika's Black Snail Black Snail Hydro-Gel Repair Mask and it's AMAZING. My skin gets so glowy and plump the next day.
  • Etude House's lip patch: the only thing that hydrates my lips...Sjögren's means my lips are often split and bleeding, but at $5/piece, I don't use it that often
  • Glam Glow mud mask: clears my breakouts so well. On my husband who takes terrible care of his skin, this makes a HUGE difference. His face ends up so clean and bright afterwards!
  • Cure Natural Aqua Gel: I used to have a lot of whiteheads and this helped reduce them significantly. Huge fan. I used it daily when I was clearing up my skin, but now it's every other day.
  • Origani's God's Nectar Manuka Honey Gentle Peel: this is not gentle at all. I'll end up with balls of dead skin that's lifted off, but still stuck to my skin. You can either leave them there and have your cheeks feel grainy, or scrub it off with a towel and end up with red, irritated skin. I stopped using it on my face, and used it on my legs instead. Does wonders for clearing out my ingrown hair!


During breakouts:

  • Cosrx one step pimple clear pad: I just discovered this and it's magic. Brings stubborn acne to head so fast, and if you're patient, helps them disappear. I'm bad and I pop.
  • Nexcare acne cover patches: sucks all the gunk out after you pop. I love it.


Friday, June 16, 2017

I'm finally destashing!

I'm on Carousell now! Ok, so I know most of my Singaporean friends use this, so I've been dying to try it out...but I've just been procrastinating on destashing because deep down, I'm a hoarder granny. Finally stopped procrastinating and did it since Carousell was offering free profile boosts in exchange for reviews! I'm also @workingwithmonolids there, check out my profile and click here to buy from me:


I'm only selling in the beauty section right now, but let me know if you guys are interested in my pre-loved clothes! Oh, and I get gifted a LOT of neutral palettes, but I tend to get bored of neutrals. So typically, I'd only do 1-2 tutorials before I want to destash them, so if you see any palette you're interested in from my tutorials, let me know! As you can see, I'm already destashing my Paris palette because I only use it for tutorials. I hardly ever use browns in real life...it's all about the unicorn & mermaid makeup...

I'm also always down for meeting new people, so I've also ticked the meetup option for delivery, so if you want to say hi to me, feel free to pick that delivery method :P

Oh, and here's how I took the photos XD





It's seriously easy to do guys...just snap a pic on your phone, hit the sell button, fill in the details and that's it.


It's as easy as uploading a pic on instagram. Anyway, hope you find something you like, because my makeup stash is piling upppppp.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Review: Thalgo Skincare Products

So I posted a video of myself getting a spa treatment from Thalgo:



So Thalgo gave me their products to try out and here's my review! The face products are all mini samples, and the dry oil & scrub are full size items. For the prices, I'm using the prices they're sold at in Indonesia, so everything's in Rupiah.

Face

Thalgo Silicium Eye Cream

Rp 816,000

Ok, so the current state of my eye is that I'm aging and developing hollows underneath my eyes. Prior to this eye cream, I was using Sulwhasoo's Concentrated Ginseng eye cream and well...that eye cream is really, really amazing. I'm pretty sure Thalgo's Silicium eye cream is amazing on some people, buuuuutttttt...my eyes are used to Sulwhasoo's eye cream is just really intense. Two weeks of using that eye cream and I noticed the hollows underneath my eyes filling up and plumping up. I looked much more refresh. I've never encountered an eye cream that's as good as Sulwhasoo's so I wasn't that surprised or disappointed when my hollows returned with Thalgo's eye cream. I think I'm just a bad candidate for testing eye creams, because my eyes have felt the magic of Sulwhasoo. I do like how light Thalgo's eye cream feels though!

Thalgo Collagen Concentrate

 Rp 1,098,000

I simply added this as an extra step to my current routine. I see no difference, but my sample is only enough for 2 weeks (using 2x/day), and 2 weeks is seldom enough to see a significant difference. My skin is also used to a lot of pampering with regular Hydrafacials, sheet masks & sleeping packs, so seeing a difference may be hard. This is a clear, light gel and seems to get absorbed fast.

Thalgo Hyaluronic Filler 

Rp 807,000

This one feels heavy and a tad sticky, and my face does feel sticky after a while. I use it after the Collagen Concentrate, and I added it as an extra step in my routine too. I didn't really see any difference either, but as I mentioned above, 2 weeks is a short time.

Melt-away Mask - Instant Comfort 

Rp 534,000

This is actually the winner from this set. I really loved this mask, because it feels light going on, but my face feels so moisturized afterwards! Oh and the creamy formula means I can give myself a face massage while I mask. I kept touching my face because it just feels so soft...it's one of the items I'll probably repurchase.

Oh and as an added bonus, this smells heavenly. It's a very light, clean, mango-vanilla scent with a hint of clean clay. It's a comforting smell that makes me think of snuggling with a fluffy blanket in bed while eating oatmeal.

I like this so much, I bought 2 of them straight away, one for me, one for my mom-in-law!

Body

Thalgo Polynesia Sacred Oil

Rp 567,000

This smells lovely! It smells like tiare and coconut oil. The coconut oil does run a bit sunblock-ish, but it still reminds me of sitting by the poolside in an island resort. It's a slightly heavier dry oil formula than what I'm used to, in the sense that it does feel like you have oil on you for a while, even though it doesn't feel greasy. I guess it just feels like you've just finished a massage. This will make an excellent massage oil btw.

It does come with shimmer, and leaves a light, sparkly golden sheen on your skin.

Exotic Island Body Scrub 

Rp 953,000


This is a salt scrub and I'm a fan of salt & sugar scrubs since they're better for the environment than microbeads. They're very generous with the oil, and scrubbing your skin will leave you with a luxurious, thick coat of oil. It may be a bit too heavy for some people, but if you're constantly in airconditioned rooms or going through winter, it's what your thirsty skin needs. I barely even need to moisturize after I get out of the bath, and I can't stop touching my skin. It feels sooo good!

The scent is predominantly coconut oil, but I do sniff hints of vanilla and some tangy fruit. The salt granules are large, so you can really slough off your dead skin.

One thing to note is that it is salt, so it'll sting if you have open wounds...I realized I nicked myself while shaving this way.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mustika Ratu's Green Tea & Lemon Skincare Line: Launching Event & Ingredients Analysis

So today I got invited to attend Mustika Ratu's launch event for their new products, two new line of products –Green Tea and Lemon –that comes with a face wash, peeling gel, and peel off mask. Full disclaimer, I was paid to attend the event, write a blog post about the event, and post pictures on my instagram account.

The launch event was in Decanter and check out how pretty it was!








We started off with a competition to see who has the most yellow items in their bags and I won thanks to my hoarder tendencies (yay, I guess? XD).


This is taken by the very talented Aditya Pramuditha

 They demonstrated the products on a model for us:


Mustika Ratu recommends using the lemon line for oily skin and the green tea line for dry skin. You know I love looking at ingredients, so here we go....

All ingredients are checked with CosDNA.

_______________________________________


Face Wash

These are low foaming face wash and meant to be non-drying.

Mustika Ratu's Green Tea Face Wash

Aqua, Coamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Gylcerin, Triethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Olea Europaeo (Olive) Fruit Oil, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Palmitoyl Praline Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Lactose, Palmitic Acid, Cellulose, Methyl Lactate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Jojoba Ester, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Nymphae Alba Flower Extract, Fragrance, CI77289

The ingredients are ok. Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract is basically green tea, and the ingredient promoted in this product. It's a great anti-oxidant and has anti-inflamatory and anti-oxidant effects.

If you're very prone to acne, you may want to watch out for the Olive fruit oil, Triethanolamine & Palmitic Acid. They're very mildly comedogenic (can cause breakouts), but very mildly. It should be no issues for most people, and these are relatively common ingredients in soap.

Mustika Ratu's Lemon Face Wash

Aqua, Coamidopropyl Betaine, Gylcerin, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Triethanolamine, Dipropylene Glycol, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Maltodextrin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Palmitoyl Praline, Ethyl Absorbic Acid, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Lactose, Palmitic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Cellulose, Citrus Limon Fruit Extract, Methyl Lactate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Nymphae Alba Flower Extract, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Fragrance,  Cl 77491, Cl 77492

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative and allowed only in concentrations of up to 1% in formulation. That way, everything else below it, including the lemon extract is in concentrations of less than 1% in the formulation. This is actually a good think since high concentrations of lemon can actually burn your skin.

Like with the green tea face wash, watch out for Triethanolamine & Palmitic Acid if you're very prone to breakouts.

Face Peeling Gel 


This is similar to Cure's Natural Aqua gel where the product claims to make your dead skin cells ball up right off your face. Now, there's some controversy regarding these sort of peeling gel. Supposedly, nothing in the ingredients really causes any exfoliation and there are theories that it's merely a chemical reaction between the ingredients and the oils in your skin, so no actual dead skin cells are coming off, and the tightness you feel is from the ingredients which contain alcohol, like Butylene Glycol, drying up your skin. I personally LOVE Cure's Natural Aqua gel and I contribute my improved skin texture to that product. So yeah, I'm a fan of peeling gels. Since Cure isn't available in Indonesia, this local option may be what you're looking for.

Mustika Ratu's Green Tea Face Peeling Gel

Aqua, Carbomer, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Diazolidinyl Urea, Lactose, Cellulose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Fragrance, Allantoin, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Jojoba Esters, Ascorbyl Palmitate, CI77289

This contains two perservatives, Phenoxyethanol (safe for up to 1% in formulation) and Diazolidinyl Urea (safe for up to 0.5% in concentration). I really hope it was a typo in the ingredients list I found on the tube.


Mustika Ratu's Lemon Face Peeling Gel

Aqua, Carbomer, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Diazolidinyl Urea, Lactose, Fragrance, Cellulose, Allantoin, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Cl 77491, Cl 77492

Same as the green tea analysis above!

Peel Off Mask 


This mask dries up into a thin film over your face and can be peeled off instead of washed off.

Mustika Ratu's Green Tea Peel Off Mask

Aqua, Alcohol, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Water, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Triethanolamine, Glucose, Fructose, Fragrance, Allantoin, Polysorbate 80, Urea, Sucrose, Dextrin, Bisabalol, Glutomic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Alanine, Hexyl Nicotinate

Mustika Ratu's Lemon Peel Off Mask

Aqua, Alcohol, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Butylene Glycol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Water, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Triethanolamine, Fructose, Glucose, Allantoin, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Fragrance, Polysorbate 80, Urea, Bisabalol, Dextrin, Sucrose, Alanine, Aspartic Acid, Glutomic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate

I tried this one on my hand first and I wasn't a fan of the tightness I felt. The high concentration of alcohol may explain why it felt so tight against my skin. It's definitely drying so if you have dehydrated skin like me, you may want to avoid this.

_______________________________________

Anyway, that's it for the science-y stuff! More fun pictures of the day! We had a mixologist come and make us lemon, strawberry & green tea infused water and it was amazing!

This is taken by the very talented Aditya Pramuditha


This is taken by the very talented Aditya Pramuditha

This is taken by the very talented Aditya Pramuditha