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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Haul from Boots - Botanics, Original Beauty Formula, No7

Boots was having a buy-2-get-1-free promotion when I was in Phuket, and not having Boots over here, I hauled :S. They have three ranges, the Original Beauty Formula (aromatheraphy), No. 7, and Botanics (part organic).

Boots Original Beauty Formula (aromatheraphy)

I got the Lemon Body Wash, Bergamont and Clary Sage Bath Foam, and the Geranium Cleansing Milk. Except for the Lemon Body Wash, the other two came in glass bottles which I love!

I didn't like the Lemon Body Wash at all. I could hardly smell the lemon essential oil in it. Instead, there is a very strong scent, of oil and glycerin I assume, somewhat akin to the original Pears soap.

The Bergamont and Clary Sage Bath Foam is much better in terms of fragrance. It has a warm spicy scent from the cardamom seed oil and also contains rose and neroli oil. Although glass bottles are not particularly safe especially in wet hands, it looks pretty, very much like a hard liquor bottle. I use it as a showel gel although it is meant to be used as a bubble bath.

The Geranium Cleansing Milk is a rather light lotion. They have a heavier rose-scented cold cream which I did not get. The cleansing milk contains olive oil and cocoa seed butter, has a lovely geranium scent, and is good for removing simple makeup.

Boots No7

From the No7 range, I got the Gentle Foaming Mousse, the Cleansing Balm, and the Sauna Mask.

The Gentle Foaming Mousse contains fruit acids (sugar cane and sugar maple) for light exfoliation. It also contains glycerin and orange flower extract for hydration. This dispenses pre-foamed. The foam is rather light and although it contains fruit acids, it does not in any way leave my skin dry or taut. If you are familiar with organic cleansers which leave a comfortable film on your face, this is what this cleanser is like.

Like the Gentle Foaming Mousse, the Cleansing Balm also contains fruit acids (sugar cane and sugar maple) to gently exfoliate the skin. Other skin whitening ingredients and antioxidants in the cleansing balm are vitmain C, lemon peel, orange flower, bilberry and ginseng extract.

The Sauna Mask is a thick greyish-white cream that contains zeolite which heats up upon contact with water. This supposedly opens up the pores for a thorough cleansing. There are extremely fine pumice particles in the cream, hence it doubles up as a scrub mask. What I didn't like about it is that it leaves an oil slick on my face which cannot be rid with water. Therefore, I need to use a cleansing foam or gel after and not before using this mask. Moreover, the heat lasts for only about five seconds, which I feel is too short a time for it to perform as well as it should.

Boots The Power of Plants Botanics

I'm a sucker for skincare with loads of plant extracts and being organic is a bonus, provided the efficacy of the product is not compromised. I got nine items from this range, but paid for only six due to the buy-2-get-1-free promotion.

The Whitening Deep Cleansing Wash contains olive oil to dissolve dirt and makeup, licorice extract and vitamin C to whiten, and ginseng extract to protect the skin.

They have three different scents for the Moisturising Oil Cleanser - rose, green tea and jasmine. The oil cleanser contains mineral oil, in addition to sunflower oil, jojoba oil and olive oil. It is an emulsifiying oil, which makes it good for removing waterproof makeup, as well as for deep cleansing.

A third cleansing milk that I got was the Skin Brightening Cleanser. This is an olive oil based cleanser, and contains fruit acids, lemon peel and orange flower extracts to brighten the skin.

I could not resist getting two bottles of the Rosewater Toner. Compared to the one that I have been getting from Perfect Potion, this is so much cheaper ($8 after discount), 50% more in quantity, and is similarly organic. Unlike the ones you can get from pharmacies here, this has no added color or artificial fragrance.

The Whitening Hydrating Mask is what got me looking at and wanting to buy products from this range. A hydrating and non-drying mask, this has pieces of jasmine petals in it which makes it look so pretty! It contains glycerin and honey to hydrate, vitamin C and liquorice to whiten, jasmine and alfafa extract to aid collagen synthesis. Not to mention it smells heavenly!

The moisturising Body Lotion is also organic. It contains loads of nourishing oils and butters - olive, jojoba, avocado and shea. It smells predominantly of geranium, although it does have bergamont and rose oil in it.

The final product I got was the Overnight Foot Rescue Cream. A rather small container but a rich hydrating cream containing olive oil, grape oil, shea and cocoa butters. It also contains sugarcane and sugar maple extract to exfoliate. It smells refreshingly of peppermint oil.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Perfect Potion's 100% Certified Organic Floral Waters

Here are three of the four floral waters by Perfect Potion - the Rose Water for hydration, Neroli Water for freshening and lifting the spirits, and Lavendar Water for soothing and calming. The forth floral water is witch hazel, which I did not get, as it can be gotten so much cheaper from a pharmacy, even though it most probably wouldn't be organic. I used to get rosewater and glycerin from pharmacies when I was much younger and the product was purer. If you happen to pass by Guardian, take a look at their witch hazel and rose water. You will find that the product has coloring, among other things, added to it.

Perfect Potion Floral Water
Looking at words on the packaging, it seems that the rose and the lavendar water are pure enough to be used as a flavouring in the preparation of food and drinks. I would stick with using it on my skin though, as a toner, a mist (you have to get your own pump as the bottles come with a screw cap) and even to make a paste out of powdered face masks. The thing I like about these floral waters, even though they are moderately expensive at $28.90 for 100ml, is that there's no unnecessary chemicals added to it, and furthermore,  organic and pesticide-free.

Perfect Potion Floral Water
Purported benefits of each of these waters:

Balances oil production (good for oily skin)
Soothing (rashes, inflammation)

Neroli (Orange Blossom)
Astringent (good for oily skin)
Stimulating, uplifting
May help with spider veins

Healing (wounds, irritation, scars)

Not to mention that aromatheraphy aids in maintaining and restoring emotionally well-being. At least it makes me happy *0*.

Arezia Nail Color Mini Polish (Light Blue #714, Teal Blue #723)

Since I have mainly light pink nail polishes, but am craving the color blue, I popped over to Sasa to get myself some new bottles of nail polish. Coincidentally, they were having a 1-for-1 promotion and knowing the difficulty I have in finishing any product, I got myself two mini bottles of Arezia nail polish, in light blue (#714) and teal blue (#723).

Here's the teal blue (#723) after three days of wear. Note that I wash my hands quite frequently with soap. Two coats are enough to get color true to what you see in the bottle, and after three days, there is slght chipping at the edge without a top coat. A beautiful blue with a tinge of silver-grey.

The light blue polish isn't as nice, and two coats isn't enough to get color true to the bottle. In fact, the color on my nails is rather different from the color in the bottle. I see a hint of jade on my nails but not in the bottle.

What the color looks like after two coats.

A single coat.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to Get Over a Major Disappointment

So you've been let down by someone you had trusted a lot, loved a lot, cared for a lot. Maybe you feel like a fool, maybe not. And if you feel like you've been made a fool of, so much the better, for it automatically takes you to the second stage of grief.

You may not neccessarily experience all the 5 stages of grief (Kübler-Ross model), nor will you definitely experience it in the order presented. You may even cycle through a few or all of the stages a couple of times.

Stage 1 - Denial (or disbelief)
Stage 2 - Anger
Stage 3 - Bargaining (or reasoning)
Stage 4 - Depression (or mourning)
Stage 5 - Acceptance (or enlightenment)

I've found that doing the following helps greatly in easing the pain and letting me come to terms with my loss. It may not neccessarily work for you but there's no harm in giving it a try.

1) Talk to someone close to you.

You could see a psychologist, but I feel that advice which is given by someone who doesn't know you well and/or who is doing it for money, tends to be rather clinical and sometimes off-the-mark. Talk to a family member, your spouse, your children even. Preferably someone with a great, but kind sense of humour who is able to cheer you up by making you laugh, and/or someone of sound judgement. Someone who has a positive attitude towards life and who is able to empathise (empathising doesn't mean agreeing with how you see things, but being able to understand why you see things the way you do). Slowly and surely, they will lead you out of the darkness.

2) Cry, throw a tantrum, break something cheap.

I can't emphasise how important this is. You need to find an outlet for the pressure before it drives you insane and further into the dark abyss of depression. If you watch a lot of television, especially sob dramas, you would have picked up a couple of ways to do this. Like going to the top of the mountain and screaming your lungs out. Just be sure you don't have any intention of jumping off.

3) Bargain, reason, rationalise.

Let the bevy of thoughts run through your head. Let them clash, fight, murder each other. It is important not to block. In my case, I pen my thoughts down in a journal or blog as well. I write, I edit, I write some more, until I have justified the situation. There is no right or wrong answer. You just need to come to terms with what has happened and be at peace with yourself. Sometimes you will not get an answer from the person who has let you down. Thus it is extremely important that you do this step until you are able to convince yourself that you have done what you humanly could, given the circumstances, and that you have no regrets.

4) Get out into the sun and do a little dance.

No, this doesn't mean you are taking things lightly. You do not need to feel guilty for loving and taking good care of yourself. In fact, you owe it to yourself to stay healthy and happy. Exposing yourself to sunlight means your body produces Vitamin D which helps alleviate depression. In addition, the fresh air and the gentle breeze on your face will soothe you and make you happy.

5) Have some fun.

Do something you enjoy, be it work, or gardening, or cooking, or painting, or shopping, or eating, or going to a spa. This isn't meant to take your mind off the situation. It isn't a way for you to block or ignore your grief, but to get your body to generate more serotonin, which will in turn help calm you down and keep your mood in balance.

6) Prep talk yourself.

You are wonderful, you are awesome, you are just short of being perfect (let's still reserve some humility shall we?) And if you happen to be grieving due to the loss of some jerk, there is no better moment for you to realise this. There are people who love you, and if you think otherwise, hey, I care enough about you to post this entry.