I cannot leave 2019 without showcasing some awesome photos I’ve taken throughout this year, which initially were meant for blog posts. Then, as clichè as it sounds; it’s suddenly the last day of the year. Thus waste not the few remaining hours we still got, `till 2020 comes. Let’s feast these eyes with some visual stimulations starting with; (Keep scrolling. It gets better, I promise)
Sounds like a grand title, doesn’t it? Yet truthfully, this is the one and only time I ever bought anything from LUSH Malaysia store this year. I did attempt to drop by Pavilion a couple of times earlier this year but time and the KL city traffic just hate me. So just like last year, I finally made it to the Pavilion store, in the last month of 2019! It was Monday afternoon in December; where every mall possible is filled with Christmas decorations.
One thing I noticed upon entering the store is, it wasn’t as heavenly scented as it was back in December 2018. I personally love the overwhelming scent; it’s what makes a LUSH store distinctive. However I guess they take customers’ feedback seriously thus the toning-down of the store scent? My theory. 🤷♀️
Next I moved on to the racks and rows of lovely LUSH products. I actually had a screenshot in my hand of four items I planned to buy, but with my six-year-old butting in plus pretty products everywhere, I ditched the ‘shopping list’ and followed my intuition instead. Haha!
No regrets. It’s December; my birthday month and God knows when will I ever have the chance to visit the store again. (Nope, I tried their newly-launched local website but they sucks) The result; I walked home with a brown LUSH shopping bag filled with 5 items worth RM238. A woman’s gotta splurge once a year. 😎
EDITED: Few days after this shopping trip, LUSH Malaysia announced they’re opening another store in Sunway Pyramid in late December. YASS!
Did you get anything from LUSH this holiday season? Let me know in the comments section. 😉
But first, LUSH Cosmetics is finally here! Heck yes LUSH.in.Malaysia. 💖 I managed to visit the store in Pavilion KL last Sunday. Look at these colourful bath bombs! 👇
They’ve only been here for two months but I’ve already heard mixed opinions about the price range from fellow Malaysians. Some say it’s reasonably priced yet some thinks otherwise. Personally, I had prepared myself with the fact that LUSH products aren’t gonna be cheap. I’m not gonna compare it with LUSH UK price range, which I was familiar with back when I swapped for LUSH like crazy almost a decade ago. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for some of the price tags when I was at the Pavilion store last week. RM90 bath bomb? Phew~
But overall I do feel the prices here are reasonable. Our Malaysian Ringgit hasn’t been strong these past few years to be honest. In the end, I walked out of the store with a Square Tin (RM20), 150g Golden Pear soap (RM45) and a reusable Bubble Bar Magic Wand (RM60) in my brown paper bag. *Big grin!*
With December being my birthday month, yesterday this birthday girl received a lovely birthday package from a long-time friend from Poland;
Yes, the picture is upside down and no, I can’t edit it. I need a new phone. Lol! I’m so sorry Joanna. For ruining this otherwise a beautiful image of my birthday presents.
My friend Joanna is so nice to get me my favourite Urban Decay VICE lipstick in Ravenswood. And my favourite PALMER’S Daily Calming Facial Lotion. Actually she sent me the moisturizer last month when I told her I couldn’t find it anywhere ever since I finished mine last year.
The rest are cute extras; some perfume samples, ESTEE LAUDER mini mascara, 2in1 mask, 10ml body lotion and a deoball.
She also sent some lovely birthday presents for my daughter too; a t-shirt & hair clips. Thank you!
Now, excuse me while I’m having fun with my birthday goodies…🎁
. ..that’s the title of the book I’m currently reading. It’s the fourth book for my ‘12 Book Challenge‘, and the first local female author I’ve chosen for this reading challenge.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, ( @mascarasandmotherhood ) you might have recalled my post on a memoir by Amy Tan, Where The Past Begins. Which, to be truthfully honest, still has a few more pages for me to finish. Urgh, sorry Amy! It turns out this Asian lady isn’t really cut for your memoir. I had a rather hard time finishing that book compared to the previous book I’ve read.
So what have I been up to since my last blog post in February? Plenty. In March, I started to get back again on my fitness routine; I changed my trainer (the previous one was great. But I feel like, for 2018 I need to step up my game and boy, the current trainer is incredibly fun to train with! 💪💪💪😄)
In March and April, I keep revisiting and discovering more cool cafes with cool coffees;
Then of course, some teeny-weeny budget beauty buys:
Not forgetting that one time my outfit of that day perfectly matched my meal from dahmakan :
And the highlight of it all is; my sister’s wedding recently! But I guess I’ll wait ’till in the next post to talk more about it. It’s such a big deal for our family, it deserves a post on its own. Ha!
These are the words I keep repeating to soothe myself. As some of you might have already known, in mid-February I started committing myself into what I hope would be a life-long commitment; fitness & nutrition.
The first three months were incredible. I ran, I struck, I circuit-trained and I lifted weights like a beast. I was damn proud of my achievements. However, as months went by, other commitments and a recurring challenge came back; my daughter’s eczema. Big time.
Being a parent is already challenging enough.
Being a parent with an eczema child makes it even more challenging.
Being a parent with an eczema child while trying to workout and eat right consistently is plain, f***ing difficult.
Of course, then the classic mommy guilt trip. I feel guilty for feeling great after a training session at the gym, then come home to Aida with flaming, weepy cheeks. Sometimes, I feel guilty for being in the studio for yoga at 8am on Saturday, instead of laying in bed with her while she’s still asleep.
And now, as her eczema is currently accompanied by fever I have no choice but to let my fitness commitment take a back seat. That doesn’t mean I don’t exercise at all. Rather, I’m reducing my personal training sessions from 3 to 2 weekly and focus more on eating healthily at the moment (which, to be honest is a challenge for this foodie). This means it’ll take me even longer to achieve my fitness goal. Honestly, a part of me isn’t exactly happy with this but well, I guess a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. After all;
How was everybody’s first week of the new year? As for me, despite 2016 ended with memorable days, 2017 kicked off with a shocking news. The sort of news that brings everyone in the family together and thinking negatively isn’t an option. I am a firm believer of “things happen for a reason”, therefore I refuse to let this shocking discovery to spoil my start of 2017 and look at the good that could come out of this instead.
Good thing I have this beautiful Bath & Body Works warm vanilla sugar to make my day.One from BBW Signature Collection, this shower gel is enriched with shea & vitamin E. If your mind are still fresh, you’d remember this shower gel from my recent birthday presents post.
Like a classic Bath & Body Works shower product, warm vanilla sugar takes your mundane shower session to a bathroom experience that is heaven-scents (pun intended). The luxurious scents of vanilla and sweet sugar really perks me up especially during my early morning shower. I used to freak out when I forgot to spray on some perfumes before leaving the house (yeah that happens sometimes). However, shower time with BBW warm vanilla sugar shower gel means my skin is delicately scented like sugary dessert for at least a few hours.
As delicate as it may smell, I do not think thst this shower gel is delicate enough for those with eczema or very sensitive skin. The ingredients, as listed on the back of the bottle suggest that active ingredients (SLSs and fragrance) are just ain’t skin friendly. Luckily my body skin isn’t too sensitive for this shower gel even when used daily.
Although I don’t celebrate Christmas, we Malaysian folks here did enjoy our long weekend, thanks to Christmas that fell on Sunday this year. I managed to catch up with my parents and had lunch with my best friend, who gave me and my girl belated birthday presents. Yay! See what I told you about December being my favourite month? *big grin*
Speaking of presents, here is a post dedicated to birthday presents (beauty products ONLY) I got this year. They aren’t a lot of them, of course but what truly matters is that these are lovely things given by my dear family and friends. Thank you again to each and every one of you for making my birthday (and my daughter’s) this year a lovely one. Oh, I also bought a few myself. Yes you read that right, I bought MY OWN birthday presents because I’m pathetic like that. Haha! Or maybe self-appreciative, depending on how you look at it.
1.Bath & Body Works set
Taking advantage of the Christmas + holiday promotion, my little sister got me a bottle of Endless Weekend fine fragrance mist and warm vanilla sugar Shower Gel, wrapped in a clear plastic and tied with a blue BBW ribbon. I love both products, which apparently are my first BBW products bought locally. Before BBW had stores in Malaysia, I had been getting BBWs from swaps or a friend in the States for years.
2.Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic Lip Tar & beauty goodies
This year, Joanna, my friend from Poland got me a tube of OCC Lip Tar and other fun beauty goodies! It’s our tradition to exchange birthday gifts every year. I’ve tried the NIVEA shampoo+conditoner samples, Laura Geller blusher and of course, the lip tar. Thank you dear for everything, and also for sending my daughter fun stickers & puzzle set for her 3rd birthday! *hug*
3.Shu Uemura 10% off & birthday treats
I can’t remember the last time I used or bought anything from Shu Uemura. So when I received a text message from them on Dec 1st, it got me thinking, “Why not? Isn’t this year the time for me to indulge in myself after 2 years of dealing with our daughter’s severe eczema?” As I was running out of pressed face powder, I went to the store in KLCC recently to purchase one. I got it at 10% off, along with two 15ml bottle of their best selling cleansing oil, one 15ml bottle of TSUYA skin lotion and 4 sachets of moisturizers. So the “birthday presents from us” are those three skincare products? Okay. In addition, they apparently had a Christmas promo which after done with paying and collecting my stuffs, the SA asked me to pick any card from a miniature wintery Xmas tree displayed in the store. The card I picked out bore what my other gift was; a Mika for Shu makeup pouch. Hmm…I honestly don’t get the Shu vibe from the pouch but, whatever. Freebies; “Yay!”, I presume?
4.SEPHORA BlackCard Member birthday gift
If last year’s birthday pressie was that mini eyeshadow trio, (which honestly isn’t bad, albeit basic) this year SEPHORA treated us to a mini blusher+highlighter embossed with “HAPPY” and “BIRTHDAY” on each half of the product. Sadly, I didn’t even get the chance to try the blusher because I accidently dropped it onto the floor one late night and the highlighter already shattered. Was I too clumsy? Was the product is of poor quality? Either way, I didn’t have the mood at all to salvage the remaining of the product so I tossed everything into a bin. *sobs*
That’s all of beauty products I’ve received, and bought. Did you spot anything that you have used yourself? What do you think of them, do you like em or loathe ’em? I’m especially interested in that SEPHORA 2016 Birthday Present. Please let me know what you think of the blusher if you’ve tried it.
Scars. I generally dislike them. Post-pregnancy scar, now that’s a bittersweet affair. While I am thankful for the priviledge of carrying my child in my womb for over nine months, I have to admit, I don’t exactly enjoy what I see in the mirror when it comes to my tummy which to me, resembles those topography maps in Geography text books.
So when I came across this sample of “Bio Treatment Essence-in-Oil Scar Specialist” from Singaporean brand; Bio-essence, wrapped together in SHAPE magazine as a free gift back in June, I’d had to grab that magazine from the newstand shelf. Never mind that I’ve never got to finish reading the whole mag in the end. See publishers, if you want your magazines to sell well , never underestimate the power of freebies.*big grin*
The generous sample is 30ml oil housed in a small, “chubby” bottle. The actual product is double the amount of oil (60ml) , double the height yet slimmer than this chubby sample bottle. Regardless, 30ml is actually enough to last for over a month when used at least once daily. Hence, I describe it here as ‘generous’.
Despite eleven different oils blended to make this “scar specialist”, lavender is the only distinct scent I could detect everytime I use this product.
As a self-proclaimed “Scar Specialist”, this oil fails to do nothing to my post pregnancy scars except moisturises the area. But then again, it does claim to helps minimize the formation of new scars. Therefore, it isn’t exactly fair for me to expect my three-year-old tummy stretch marks to disappear.
As a wound-healer, I’m happy to report that the oil really helps a small, new cut on my arm dried & healed faster! No surprise there since two of its ingredients, calendula oil & chamomile oil are both natural anti-imflammatories.
All in all, Bio-essence “Bio Treatment Essence-in-Oil Scar Specialist” moisturises skin effectively when used daily as well as heals new, small wounds a little faster. As for scars, it doesn’t fade them at all, just like any other anti-scars and anti-stretchmarks products I’ve tried so far. I guess I’m just gonna make peace with the fact that my strechmarks (and yeah, my acne scars too) are here to stay, leaving me never.
We hate products we love go to waste, don’t we? Especially when said products are expensive. At least that is what I feel. Take a look at this Moogoo Irritable Skin Balm for example; pre-GST era it used to be RM69 a tube. That is already expensive for a barely 200ml cream, especially when used daily. However, since 6% of GST was imposed in April ’15, Moogoo ISB is now RM79. That’s exactly ten Ringgit extra. I remember how the local eczema community were feeling the pinch over this dreaded price hike on almost every possible product. Thank God for natural & much cheaper alternatives, which I might be talking about in my future posts.
Back to the topic, this eczema-friendly and soothing cream is housed in a plastic tube that can easily be cut. Just make sure to sanitize the scissors prior to cutting the tube. I usually start cutting the top part and scoop up every nook and cranny of the inside of the tube. Next, I cut off the centre of the tube so that I get both the centre and the bottom of the inside of the tube. When every milimetre of the product has been completely wiped clean, then only I toss those empty plastic pieces into a dustbin.
Remember my last LUSH haul? That was three years ago.Those days of spending my cash on cutesy soaps, bath bombs and glittery shower gels. Occasionally, I also obtained those funky looking soaps from countless swaps I did on a (now-defunct) online swap community; Makeupalley. Ah…fun times!
Recently, a friend offered to make a LUSH haul from Korea. Of course I jumped at the chance! As much I was salivating over their Christmas ’16 collection, I am at the moment not looking to splurge (Read: can’t afford) on fancy handmade bath products. In the end, I settled for a chunk of Sultana of Soap.
One from their permanent soap collection, I’ve actually tried Sultana a couple of times before. The first time, it was a sample I received from a swap. Second time was a full-sized 100g, which a friend from the States was kind enough to custom-purchase it for me.
Fast forward to now, Sultana feels exactly like I last used it. It’s moisturizing, luxurious, creamy, with heavenly scent that filled my entire bathroom. As the folks at LUSH perfectly put it, this soap gives you a “royally well-fed skin”.
The only downside is, those pieces of dried fruits that I constantly need to pick up after my shower. Since LUSH soaps are handmade, no two chunks of soaps are identical. For this particular Sultana, I happened to get generous amount of dried currants & apricots on top of the soap chunk. If only I could just eat up those dried currants and apricots….(I’m kidding, of course.)