Beauty Fool is 6!

Wow, I almost cannot believe it. I started this blog exactly 6 years ago, on April 22nd 2008. It’s so crazy to think how much has happened in the last 6 years!

Firstly, I am sorry for the massive radio silence – so much has been happening (personally) in the past 6 months… through it all I feel I’m come out a new person; so a lot of changes are in the works. Thank you for your patience (whoever’s still reading, ha)! I’m excited for what’s next, so stay tuned, but just wanted to write a quick note of thanks for the support… 6 years! So crazy.

x Renee




Skin Myth: Can Pores Open and Close?

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When I started a proper skin care routine back when I was 13 years old, I first heard about this skin myth when my mom told me that I should finish washing my face with very cold water, to “close” the pores. However, this is a really big skin myth – probably one of the biggest ones – and is used to sell hundreds of products, but unfortunately…

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no – pores cannot open and close. For them to actually open and close would mean it would have to have muscles. In fact, pore size is genetically determined!

From Society Hill Dermatology:

There’s no magical process or product that will cause your pores to “open” and allow impurities to rise to the skin’s surface.
By the same token, splashing cold water on your face – or doing anything else for that matter – won’t cause the gates to slam shut on your pores.

Simply put, “pores are pretty stationary,” says Susan C. Taylor, M.D., a dermatologist in Philadelphia and author of Brown Skin: Dr. Susan Taylor’s Prescription for Flawless Skin, Hair, and Nails (Amistad, 2004).

What you’re doing when you steam your face is causing the blood vessels to dilate and the skin to swell slightly. Similarly, “astringents and toners slightly irritate the walls of the pores and make them swell, causing the pores to look smaller,” Baumann explains. But they haven’t actually changed in size. Even in the best-case scenario, their diminished appearance won’t last for more than 24 hours.

That being said, with pore minimizing products, don’t expect miracle results; especially those that claim to make your pores smaller. Though they clean your pores out, making them appear smaller, the size of your pores haven’t changed one bit. Think of your pores as a “V” shape. The only real thing you can do is to exfoliate your skin. If you exfoliate it scrubs off a layer of the ‘V’, they will make your pore appear smaller, but again, your pore size really hasn’t changed size.

Sad but true, but this skin myth has officially been debunked! Any thoughts?

P.S. One great product that is used in my household that diminishes the appearance of pores is Benefit’s Porefessional – highly recommended!

Bulgari Omnia Crystalline EDP Review

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Two months ago Bulgari launched their gorgeous new scent, Omnia Crystalline, with an exciting regional launch in Bangkok, Thailand. Yours truly was the only blogger invited to the event and I was so excited, until dengue fever hit and I was unfortunately unable to go… sigh! Thankfully though, it’s given me a lot of time to really test the new fragrance out – as well as it’s body gel and lotion – to give you a comprehensive review of the new scent.

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If you’re wondering why the name of the fragrance sounds familiar, this is an “update” to the original Crystalline that was realeased in 2005. Says the perfumer, Alberto Morillas, who was in charge of creating the entire Omnia collection: “The aim was to have Crystalline version almost 10 years after the first EDT edition, which can be richer, luxurious, more polished… while maintaining the same signature, attraction and originality of the fragrance.”

“This is not just a more concentrated version; it’s really a totally new approach for this creation, tied to new, really unique and exclusive ingredients that fit in with Bvlgari’s modernity”.

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I’d have to agree that there is a very “modern” feel to this scent. Featuring notes of lotus, mandarin orange, orris root and musk, the scent is a floral scent, but a little “muted”, more delicate, light and closer to the skin. The bottle is like the other Bulgari Omnia scents; featuring that signature “ring” bottle (anyone else think kinda looks like the infinity symbol?), but this time with a soft light pink glass. To me the scent has a powdery freshness to it; and I think the ad campaign very beautifully captured the image of the fragrance: it is soft, light, feminine with a little bit of warmth and closeness.

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Above is a photo of the full range, including the Shower Gel and Body lotion. To really “get” a fragrance, it is recommended to use the body gel in the shower, the body lotion all over your body, and then the perfume itself over the lotion, on your pulse points. This will allow you to really be enamoured into the fragrance; not to mention it will make the fragrance last much, much longer, and feel a little but more closer to the skin. The gel, was, in a word, incredible. I like having strong scents in my shower (mostly because showering is so boring and in the morning, the scent wakes me up!) and the soft scent lingered in my bathroom which I thought was a plus. The lotion too – no complaints. I was happy it wasn’t greasy which is my pet peeve in lotions. It sunk into my skin with a very light whiff of the fragrance.

With Christmas coming up; if you’re up for treating yourself or another female in your family, I’d definitely recommend taking a whiff of it and seeing how you like it. I think it would be the perfect gift for that girly, feminine woman in your life. Although, I think it would be even better as a Valentine’s Day gift. (Men, you listening?) It is such a floral, feminine scent – and the pink bottle is too cute – that I keep thinking Valentine’s Day when I see it. Either way – gotta try it out.

Omnia Crystalline EDP is available in 40ml ($123) and 65ml ($158). Both the shower gel and body lotion are 100ml and are $45 and $55 respectfully. 

Have you tried Bulgari’s Omnia Crystalline EDP yet? Or any of the others in the Omnia collection?

Beauty Catchup!

Oh wow, guys… it’s been awhile. It feels like a long while!

As you may know, mid-August I got dengue fever and it lasted a little over 5 weeks, which is beyond horrible – I feel like I slept through all of August and September! I’ve been slowly but surely recovering, and last week I’ve also started a new job and position, that is why I have been a little quiet here. (Yup, no longer a full time blogger!). In the meantime though; because I was “out of it” for 5 weeks and the last few weeks, I have A LOT to catch up on. (Sorry to the emails I haven’t replied yet, I am slowly working through them!) Here are some things I’ve been loving since we last spoke that I want to share with you:

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Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil

My best friend told me about rose hip oil ages ago, claiming how good it was, but I didn’t think we got any in Singapore so I didn’t really take much notice. Also, when I was told about it a few years ago, I was still in the “but oil will give me breakouts” beauty level; which I will say: I was so wrong. Your skin needs oil, even if it gets breakouts! I’ve been using the serum for maybe 3 weeks now and I can tell you, this is one of the best skincare products I’ve ever tried. It’s absolutely fantastic, so fantastic I am thinking of just trying a bunch of his stuff and ditching my current skincare (even though it’s worked for me for about 9 years now!). It’s just SO good. My skin looks amazing. With natural ingredients of Vitamin A, C (both great for anti aging and brightening) and Omega 3+6 and Vitamin E (all great for moisturizing); it really is a powerful moisturizing anti aging serum. It goes on light and dries instantly, and has a yummy orange peel scent. You can find Ole Henriksen products at Sephora.

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Perfume! – Honey by Marc Jacobs, Roses de Chloe by Chloe and Viva La Juicy Noir by Juicy Couture

And, as regular readers will know, I am a *wee* bit of a perfume addict (understatement of the century?!). I went to the launch event for Marc Jacobs Honey back in July; and if you remember my post on Dot, I really was excited. I love the bottles and Honey is the fresher, lighter version of Dot. I really like it; though I can’t decide if I like Honey or Dot more. They are very similar, yet their “vibe” is a little different. (Dot is more sweet, and Honey seems a little more rebellious). Either way, I think it’s a non-fussy, everyday scent. And that bottle! Too gorgeous. I love looking at it on my side table, it just feels so sunny, happy and positive.

For Roses de Chloe – I mean, what can you say with that bottle? Chloe is the perfect place to go for a feminine, soft, timeless scent. While the latest release from Chloe, if you remember is Eau De Chloe. That was a very green, clean scent; and this one seems a little more rosy (well, duh), a little more “French royalty”. There is a powdery softness to it, yet there is also a “bang” to it. It’s soft yet in your face, feminine and light, yet very strong willed and powerful. I like this contrast – I immediately thought of a tough princess when I first sniffed it!

As for Viva La Juicy Noir… I mean look at that bottle. I have the 100ml one, so it’s huge! Much bigger than I expected, and the black and hot pink is so fun and girly. When I first smelt it, I couldn’t put my hand on why it smelt familiar; and then I realized that it reminded me of my last perfume reviews – it was the berries! It has that same sophisticated berry scent as Taylor and The Key; I wonder if berries are the hot new thing in perfume? However, once the initial top notes of berry is gone, the drydown for this perfume is absolutely stunning. I too, found it familiar and was wrecking my brain, thinking where have I smelt this before, and then I realized: it smells like the original Juicy Couture perfume. I can’t be the only one who remembered it coming out in 2006. I remember the smell so perfectly because EVERY girl had it and I sure did as well! So this perfume really brought back some memories for me which I loved. It’s a berry, floral scent and has such a bubbly, girliness to it.

You can find these perfumes at their respected brand shops, or at all department store perfume counters.

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Nip + Fab Multi Fix Oil

Dengue fever is often called “Breakbone” disease, so you can only imagine how painful it is. It literally feels like someone took a hammer and broke all your bones in your body. It is a real intense, deep soreness to your body and I was in so much pain during those few weeks, the only “relief” I could think of was someone massaging the soreness. I looked through all my loot to see if I had some kinda oil to use, and lo and behold; I found this lifesaver.

Seriously, I don’t think I could’ve gone without this oil those weeks of pain. As you can see, I’ve used so much! I think it’s 90% gone. It is a multi-purpose oil in that it can be used pretty much everywhere (however I believe there is mineral oil so probably best not to use it on your face). But it is excellent for the body. It goes on smoothly and the scent is a light “clean” one which I liked very much. It also dries into your skin (so no oily residue) and leaves it feeling super soft. I’m going to buy another bottle just for body moisturization in the night; but if for whatever reason you might also need a massage oil to soothe some sore muscles/bones, I would definitely recommend this one! I believe it is available in Watsons.

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Benefit Gimme Brow

Though Benefit was the very first thing I wrote about on this blog almost 6 years ago (!!!); I haven’t tried too many of their stuff until I was part of their fun event back in July. I’ve been keeping up to date with them, and right now, a star product you must run out and get is Gimme Brow. Remember how I said that my mom “stole” my other Benefit product, the Porefessional? Well, she also stole Gimme Brow, and now would like to let everyone know that Benefit is the best makeup brand in the whole world. I’d have to agree, I am starting to get seriously more and more impressed by their products.

Anyway – Gimme Brow. What can I say? I’ve used Brow mascaras in the past and I prefer it to the powder look, however those mascara brushes were so big and hard to use, and I do not have Cara Delevinge eyebrows, thank you very much! The tiny brush of Gimme Brow is the real innovation here, I think. It is just the perfect size for you to comb through without making a mess or the skin around the brown area, and goes on smoothly and quickly. The formula has tiny micro fibers that also “beef” up your brows giving it a fuller look. Love, love, love. My favorite place to play around with Benefit it at their Tangs Beauty shop, so have a look there!

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Urban Decay Smoked 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil Set

I’ve been hearing about eyeliners by Urban Decay and would always test them at Sephora in what feels like years, but I finally got the chance to try it out and boy, does it live up to expectations! These liners are so easy to apply – they literally glide on the skin – so drawing a line is super easy. They stay on all night and I find that the colors, though, like every brand they have the usual blacks, browns, etc, I feel there is a difference in them. They seem a little more shimmery, a little more dramatic; something about them seems so bold and dynamic. What I’ve been doing is applying black eyeliner at the top lash line, and gray on the bottom lash line. You can find this set at Sephora.

Phew… that’s about it for now! Such amazing products I’ve been using recently; and definitely ones that I’ll be using for a long, long time. What’s been up with everyone? I seriously feel so out of touch with everything! Update me? :)

Mark Hill MiracOilicious Hair Care Range Review

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My best friend, Christine, is a beauty junkie quite like me, so from time to time I’ll be asking her to share her thoughts on what’s happening in the London beauty scene, as told to me. I like to call her my ‘London Reporter’! Enjoy…

I’ve been using these products for a few weeks and I am so impressed. These products are affordable and surprisingly hold up as well as salon hair care I’ve tried in the past. Out of the four products, my favorite is the hair mask; and Renee commented while we were Skyping how shiny my hair looks – it’s this range! I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The ArganOil Hair Oil is light and non-greasy, great for my fine hair and even better as a heat protectant before styling. The shampoo and conditioner are great, but the real standouts are the Hair Mask and ArganOil. Those are my must-haves. I’d highly recommend this range for someone looking for a good moisturzing line of products. Even better that their ingredients list was full of ‘good’ ingredients such as argan oil, shea butter, vanilla extract and proteins like soy and wheat protein. A plus is that the scent is great! It has a tropical flower smell with slightly woody notes (my roommate loves it!). I can’t say more about this range. At first I was hesitant because I’ve been hearing a lot about argan oil and didn’t get the hype. But I would recommend this range 100%.