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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SilkyGirl Blockbuster Color Palette Review

I have always been attracted to neutral colours when it comes to make up shades. So when Watsons was having an introductory sale for Silkygirl's Blockbuster Color Palette, I bought the chocolate shades because the colours looked so nice and neutral.

The eyeshadow palette comes in a small rectangular plastic case with a translucent lid. The label on the bottom of the palette holds instructions on how to apply the shades on the eyelid and also a list of ingredients. There is a double ended sponge tip applicator included in the palette with one tip being smaller than the other.
 Top view of the Blockbuster palette.
 Side view of the palette.
Instructions and list of ingredients.

Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Phenyl, Trimethicone, Boron Nitride, Squalane, DiisostearylMalate, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/Hexastearate/Hexarosinate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, BHT, Tocopehryl Acetate, May Contain: CI 77891, CI 77742, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Zinc Stearate, CI 77007, Hydrogenated Poluisobutene, CI 16035, CI 75470, Silver, Carbon Black, CI 74160, Dimethicone, Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate, Polyisobutene, Silica, Palmitic Acid, Methicone, Butylparaben, CI 19140, Tin Oxide.

The Blockbuster Color Palette comes in four shades of chocolate colours - light beige (skin colour), warm brown, dark brown and very dark brown. The colour in the picture is more on the cool side but in real life they are a lot warmer.

The eyeshadow has a nice silky texture and is not too crumbly. There is very little fallout when applied. All of the four shades are matte with only small amount of shimmers. The colours blends very well and easy to apply. They do not seem to crack at creases after a long day. Overall, the combination of browns gives a nice neutral colours.
Silkygirl Blockbuster Color Palette swatch.

My verdict: I notice that I reach for this palette a lot more compared to other palettes because I love the neutral colours and the texture of the eyeshadows. I do think that the quality is great and the price is very friendly to my pocket. I will definitely repurchase this one once it runs out.

The palette retails at RM23.90 but I got it for RM19.90 during the introductory sale at Watsons.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

TheFaceShop's Black Head Ex Nose Clay Mask Review

When my sister was in Korea on a short course, I gave her a list of things to buy based on great reviews I read on the Internet. One of the things I wanted her to find was a tube of White Mud Nose Pack from TheFaceShop since there are quite a number of raving reviews about the product. Alas for me, she was not able to find it so she bought a similar type of product which is the Black Head Ex Nose Clay Mask. I am not sure how much it costs and my sister had forgotten how much she paid for it.

The Black Head Ex Nose Clay Mask comes in a soft white plastic tube weighing 50 g with a black screw on cap. The label is printed directly onto the plastic tube. The product info and list of ingredients (I assume they are list of ingredients) are printed on the back also directly onto the tube.
The tube of mask.
I have no idea what's printed on the back of the tube.

The nozzle sports a small hole for the gunk to flow out when the tube is squeezed.

The clay mask's texture is very thick, gooey and sticky. It is muddish white in colour. It got quite messy when applied over my nose because of the gooey-ness and the stickiness of the gunk. The clay mask had a nice astringent scent to it which does not bug me because it is not too overpowering. What I liked about it is that is has a cooling effect on the skin. I needed to wait 15-20 minutes for the whole thing to dry and be ready to be peeled off my skin. Peeling the dried mask off my skin as quite easy and not painful at all. I can see some whiteheads got pulled off together with the dried mask.
 A dollop of clay mask.
 The mask spread evenly.
 
 The mask drying. (Please excuse the red marks beside the drying patch of mask. I had been testing the other type of masks and scratched them off - hence the redness.)
The mask peeled off. I think the patch of skin looked a bit fairer.

If compared to the White Mud Mask, I found that the white mud mask had a slightly thicker consistency in texture. The white mud mask also peels of easier than the white mud but in terms of pulling out the white heads and blackheads, I think the clay mask did a slightly better job at it.

My verdict: I think the Black Head Ex Nose Clay Mask performed slightly better than the White Mud. My only logical conclusion is that maybe it's because the clay mask's paste clings harder to the skin when dried if compared to the white mud mask even though the latter has a thicker consistency. In terms of good value for money, I think I would repurchase the Clay Mask again in future if the mood strikes me.

Coco Zen Chocolate-Lips-To-Go Review

I had never heard of Coco-Zen before but I got very interested in trying out their lip balm after I had read a great review about their balm. Coco-Zen is actually a chocolate company that produces chocolate treats for consumption as well as treats for the body as well. They also promotes the usage of fair trade cocoa in their products and recyclable packaging materials as a way of promoting fair trade and saving the planet which is really a great concept.

From my initial intention to just try their lip balm, I got stuck at their Lips-To-Go page because it is so much more economical (me trying to convince myself at that time!) to just buy a set of both the lip scrub and the lip balm. After battling with myself, I decided to just go with my guts to get the Lips-To-Go set with the choice of Chocolate Brown Sugar for the Edible Lip Scrub and Chocolate Mint Bliss for the balm. The Chocolate-Lips-To-Go comes in a small green jute pouch. The lip balm is in a sliding tin and the lip scrub is in a round tin tub.

Edible Lip Scrub in Chocolate Brown Sugar 
Product description: This edible lip scrub exfoliate and moisturizes lips. It is made from organic brown sugar, organic oils, organic honey and vitamin E and comes in a delicious chocolate taste.

The chocolate lip scrub comes in a round tin jar with a with a screw on lid weighing .50 oz (15 ml). It may seem like a small container but it is really is quite heavy and compact. I really like the vintage look of the label which is a brown recycled paper printed with the product's logo and name. The bottom of the tin jar is pasted with the same vintage brown paper printed with a list of ingredients.

Ingredients: Organic Fair Trade Raw Sugar Cane, Organic Fair Trade Brown Sugar, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Vitamin E, Organic Chocolate Flavour Oil.

The lip scrub looked very moist when I first opened the jar and I can actually see that the bits of scrubbing particles are but it felt a bit dry when I scooped it out. It has coarse sugar granules and bits of some black seeds (I assume they are bits of crushed cocoa beans). I find that rubbing the lip scrub is better done over a sink as the sugar bits tend to fall off from my fingers and lips. After a few minutes into the scrubbing action, the lip scrub melted a bit which made it easier to scrub the coarse bits on my lips.
 A freshly opened tub of lip scrub.
 Moist looking chocolatey sugar granules.
A finger scoop of lip scrub.
Very coarse sugar granules.

The lip scrub smelled like chocolate. It tasted really sweet but not too chocolatey, just sugarish. My lips felt soft and smooth after scrubbing but felt a little bit raw from the coarse sugar granules. Overall, I am satisfied with the result as it does what it is supposed to do - which is to scrub the lips.

Chocolate Mint Bliss Lip Balm
Product Description: The chocolate lip balms are flavored with real organic and Fair Trade chocolate and sweetened with a touch of Stevia. While your nose and taste buds dance in chocolate ecstasy, your lips will bathe in moisturizing organic coconut creme and extra virgin olive oil. Scrub your lips with our chocolate edible lip scrub daily and then apply the lip balm for chocolatey, kissable lips.

The lip balm comes in a sliding tin weighing .25 oz (7 g). It has the same brown recycled paper pasted on the lid and the list of ingredients is pasted on the bottom of the tin. The lid slides open smoothly and closes with a click.
The tin of lip balm.
The sliding lid opened.

Ingredients: Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Creme, Organic Beeswax, Organic Fair Trade Certified™ Chocolate, Vitamin E, Organic Castor Oil, Cocoa Absolute, Organic Flavor Oils, Stevia.

The lip balm has a soft and buttery texture and is very easy to pick up once it has adjusted to skin temperature. Initially it did not apply smoothly but when the balm had adjusted to body temperature, it applies on smoothly over my lips and leaves a hint of minty tingle. The balm practically melted into my lips leaving them feeling smooth and soft. The minty tingle lasted only for a few seconds though. It smells exactly like chocolate and it tastes almost like the insides of those Smarties candies, not too sweet but plain chocolatey taste. It goes on a bit chocolatey at first but turns sheer after it has melted and sinks in the lips.
The lip balm swatched on the back of my hand.

My verdict: I love both the lip scrub and the balm. The lip scrub really scrubs off dead skin cells off my lips and the smooth feeling of the balm on the lips after a vigorous scrubbing is just nice. Since these are hard to come by in Malaysia and quite pricey including the shipping cost, I don't think I would be able purchase them again.

You can check out the Coco Zen products at their official website.
Priced at $16.50.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chakri Xpress @ Alamanda Majestic Buffet Review

Sometime last year my brother, my husband and myself had this crazy idea to try out Chakri Xpress - All You Can Eat Buffet - The Magnificent 101 Majestic Dishes because we ran out of ideas on what to eat at Alamanda Putrajaya. Basically, the buffet has 101 dishes that you can choose from and it cost only RM25.90 per head. 101 dishes for that amount of money is considered insanely cheap to our ears. The price does not include drinks though which I thought to be quite bothersome. At least they could include free flow of tea in the package.

We went there at about 8.00 pm and was seated at the middle of the restaurant. The waiter then explained to us that for this buffet, we were allowed to choose any dishes but they are going to be served by rounds. For each rounds, we can pick any six dishes from any category of the list given. Sounds great right? But wait, there's a catch. To move on to the next round of 6 dishes, we have to finish the first round of 6 dishes we ordered. The cycle goes on and on and on up until you throw in the towel and wave the white flag of surrender.

The list of 101 dishes to choose from.

For drinks I had a strawberry milkshake and my husband and brother had tea and plain water. The said they need all the room they can get in their tummy for all the food that's about to be abolished. so no extra milky drinks. Hehe.. The shake was not too milky or sweet. The balance of the fruity tang and the milk was just right.
My gorgeous strawberry shake.

For the Ist Round, we ordered Pineapple Fried Rice, Deep Fried Prawn with Garlic, Pandan Chicken, Stir Fried Broccoli with Oyster Sauce, Tom Yam Pla and Roasted Crispy Duck with Kailan.

The Pineapple Fried Rice was littered with cashew nuts, pineapple and mix veggies. The fried rice was very fragrant. The plate of rice they served us was more than enough for the three of us.

The Deep Fried Prawn with Garlic was not too garlicky and it tasted nice and very flavourful. The prawns were medium sized and were nicely cooked, not being too overcooked nor undercooked. The nicest part is that they were already unshelled and the black poopy strip removed.

The Stir Fried Broccoli with Oyster Garlic Sauce was also a great dish. I am not a veggie lover but sometimes I do eat vegetables (usually after extensive nagging from my dear beloved, that is!). The broccoli was nicely cooked, the sauce was thick in consistency and it tasted sweet and salty.

Next up is Pandan Chicken. This on is my brother's favourite. It is basically chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and grilled to perfection. The chicken had a very fragrant scent and it was served with a saucer of sweet thai chilli sauce.

The Tom Yam Pla was actually tom yam fish soup (pla means fish in Thai). The tom yam soup was packed with spiciness. Don't let the clear broth fool you because it was indeed spicy to my taste bud.

The Roasted Crispy Duck with Kailan was an interesting dish and recommended by the waiter. He told us that the duck was roasted with coffee to get a unique flavour. I've never had duck before so it was something new to try out. The texture of the duck meat was coarser than chicken. The sauce was nice and thick but there was no hint of coffee at all either in the sauce nor the duck. This dish was a miss for me because the duck was a bit smelly.

For our second round, we ordered Mieng Kam, Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Samrod Sauce, Floured Prawn, Minced Soft Shell Crab with Papaya Salad, Fried Bean Curd with Prawn and Mushroom and Poo Ja.

Mieng Kam was betel leaves served with onion, chillies, cucumber, lime, thick rojak sauce and crushed peanuts. You eat it by folding the leaf into a triangle (which in my case, I just folded it so that it covers the whole condiments) and then just pop it into your mouth and chew. The taste was sweet and a little bit herbal but actually very nice and explodes in your mouth.
A plate of ready made Mieng Kam.
My version of a folded Mieng Kam.

Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Samrod Sauce is basically deep fried battered dory fish sauteed in sweet, spicy and sour sauce. It was served steaming hot and I think this dish would be really nice to eat with white rice. The sauce complements the fish very well and the sweetness, sourness and spiciness were very well balanced.

Floured Prawn is actually self explanatory which is just the basic deep fried prawn coated with flour and breadcrumbs. It was served with a saucer of chilli dipping. The prawn was very nice and crispy and goes well with the dipping sauce.

Fried Beancurd with Prawn and Mushroom was too garlicky and had a quite bitter taste which I suspected came from the mushroom. The sauce was nice and thick though.

The Poo Ja dish didn't arrive so Minced Soft Shell Crab with Papaya Salad was the last dish for the second round. It was actually papaya kerabu topped with only a little bit of chopped up soft shell crab. The papaya was a bit sour to my liking and there was no fruity sweetness at all. The kerabu also tasted a bit spicy and didn't taste very nice if eaten too much.

At the end of the second round, we were already bursting and could not eat anymore heavy dishes, so we decided to throw in the towel and opted to order dessert. So, for the third round we ordered another round of Mieng Kam, Tab Tim Krob, Thai Mango Sticky Rice, Chilled Honey Dew Sago, Thai Jelly and Chakri Durian Sticky Rice Ball.

The Mieng Kam came served on a segregated round platter this time and all we had to do was fill the leaves with the condiments and sauce to our heart's content.

The Chilled Honey Dew Sago was quite a let down to me. It was not served chilled! The sago was not too sweet but the sweet santan gravy was on the thicker.

Tab Tim Krob was one of my favourites. It tasted semi-sweet and the milky santan gravy was not too thick. This dessert was served chilled and the bits and chunks of fruit mix very well with the sweet and milky santan.

The Thai Mango Sticky Rice was served with mango cutlets on the side and thick santan gravy poured on top of a square blob of sticky rice. The santan gravy was a bit salty but it balances out when eaten together with the sticky rice and mango. I kind of liked the combination as it tasted creamy and sweet.

The Thai Jelly didn't came so the last dish for the third round was Chakri Durian Sticky Rice Ball. Basically it was sticky rice moulded into an elongated ball and topped with thick durian gravy. This dessert was very sweet durian and the saltiness from the warm sticky rice complements the sweet durian very nicely indeed.

All in all, we had 16 dishes and three rounds was all we could stomach. The dishes are either a hit or a miss depending on what was ordered and individual's taste and preferences. It was a unique dining experience  especially for someone who has a very small appetite like me and I had to struggle to help my brother and my husband finish off the dishes. If you want to try out this unique dedicated buffet, you would have to make a one-day earlier reservation and please bring a very empty tummy to dinner! Hehe..


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