Friday, June 17, 2011

Soap & Glory "CLEAN ON ME" Clarifying Shower Gel

In an earlier post I spoke about my trip to Sephora and I came away with some goodies that day which I will be sharing with you. One of these is this jumbo jewel from Soap and Glory. I love the brand for their retro styled packaging and 50's vibe.

I had purchased a few items from this brand when I was at a Boots drugstore in Bangkok some time back and was excited to see them again at Sephora! So, in a nostalgic mood, I picked this up - oh the drama my dear readers!! I literally swooned and needed to hold on to something when I opened a bottle and got a whiff of this. I am indeed a sucker for sweet smells. That alone sold me on the product! Not a very conscientious shopper at all that day,I know... But the fragrance was so lovely and works like a little pick me up during shower time. This shower gel contains extracts of mandarin peel and I belive that this is the ingredient that provided that fresh factor. The smell reminds me of perfumes from Annick Goutal and I belive the notes do have some layers of similar scents - very feminine indeed. I like that the scent lingers for a very long time - I do not put on any other perfume when I shower with this gel in the mornings. 

The price was the next thing I looked at and I must say that it was affordable seeing that I paid  a fair price of RM29.90 for a 500ml bottle - this will probably last me at least 4 to 5 months, I am sure. Also, the shower gel comes jam packed with body lotion which leaves you without the need to add another step of moisturizing to your bath routine. For this reason, my skin does not feel parched and in need of additional moisturizing when I step out of the shower. The body lotion in this does not leave a greasy film on the body which is great and nothing beats soft skin after a good shower.

Bath time also becomes so much fun when you read the quirky quotes on the side of the bottle....this one says "Cleanliness is Essential when Godliness is Improbable"! So very cute, is it not? The addition of 50's style photo's is very cool, and adds to the retro-ness of the packaging. Its a straightforward,  big bottle with a pump which dispenses enough with a few pumps. You can either pump this on to your palms and work up a lather or go for it straight on to your sponge and work from there. There is no spillage or wastage and fiddling with covers in the morning, which is quite essential for the girl on the go.

For me, the only downside to this bottle of delight is the stuff that goes into the making of it. It does contain parabens, so for the purists and those who have gone totally natural and organic, please turn your eyes now coz its gonna get nastay!

So, dear readers, have you been for a quick look see at Sephora yet? Their second outlet at KLCC has recently opened too, and if you are in the area, why not pop by?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Inglot - I Want To Break Free!

Everybody greeted the news that Inglot had opened its flagship store in Sunway Pyramid not too long ago with excitement. I must admit, I was intrigued because I had seen so many videos and heard so much about their products.

Inglot is a Polish company which has been in business for over 25 years was established by Wojtek Inglot. He was revolutionary in wanting to produce high quality products at reasonable prices – all this while using only the best possible ingredients and raw materials from the most reputable suppliers. The man is still directly involved in the formulation and design process of all new Inglot products.

This company, in my opinion, is on the cutting edge of creating intuitive cosmetics for women. You must check out their world’s first ever Breathable Nail Enamel ensuring better health care for nails whilst enhancing their beauty. Another winner is their AMC lip gloss which is beautifully pigmented in a funky rainbow of color and paraben free. The gloss is housed in a square tube and applies smoothly with a doe foot applicator.

Thanks to a husband that understands my love for cosmetics, we made our way to Inglot at Sunway sometime back. My first impression of the store was its neat and spartan design. What a visual treat! It was not ‘in your face’ and surprisingly inviting. Everything was laid out on tables or neatly stacked on the wall. There was even a big sofa in a corner for husbands, friends, children etc to sit on and just chill while we are shopping! Thankfully, even though it had only opened the day before, there were only about 7 people besides myself browsing the goodies. I dislike crowds.

But on to delicious things! I was mighty interested in the Freedom System and the idea of creating a palette with the colors that I liked really appealed to me. This is what you see on the display tables....all the possible color combinations and possibilities.

The Freedom System consists of strong magnetized palettes that you can use to store some of the products that you pick and choose from a wide variety of shades. There are eyeshadow singles and brow colors or lip colors which you can choose to customize your palette. How cool is that? The system comes with a choice of square or round palettes which gives you yet another choice. However, the square palettes are just for eye shadows and the round palette allows you to create a whole look from brow colors, eyes, concealer and lip colors. That is a breakthrough in itself. You can also choose a two compartment palette, 3 compartments, 4 compartments, 10, 20 and the latest, a mega palette with 40 compartments for you to slot your single colors in. This means you can buy the empty palette and collect single colors as quickly as your budget allows!

Below is what the palette looks like – I love the design which is super sleek and very well constructed with some strong magnetic action going on to keep everything in place and virtually immovable. The frosted lid you see has an imprint of the Inglot brand all over it and allows you to see what colors you have in the palette without having to rummage about, if you have more than one of these babies in your drawer! There have been mixed reviews on how to remove the individual pans from their magnetized compartments. One way is to use the actual frosted glass cover to lift up the corner of the color you want to take out. I found this hard to do and it may or may not come off even after several tries. Some have reported using a pin or sharp object to prise it out which I am not in favour of as it can potentially damage your product. What I have found to be most useful is to use a strong magnet  (stronger than the one on the frosted glass cover) to lift up your pan. Most of us would have a magnet(s) at home, usually found in your sewing kit or box to keep all your pins together (mine was given to me by my children and I believe it came from one of their toys!!) The stronger magnet lifts up the pan easily without damaging your color.

A quick tip shared by the lovely SA I spoke to – rather than trying to pull off the lid which could damage the precious colors inside, slide the lid sideways and it comes off easily.

I was like a child in a candy store the moment I stepped in. As I was wondering how on earth I was going to "create" my freedom system, a lovely SA came my way and taught me what to do. As you enter there are several wide and long tables on your left and right and centre. The table on your left houses all the colors available to create your personalized system. On your right are other products which you can browse and play with too. The table in the middle has foundation, concealers, powders, and the famed liquid blushers. For ladies with dusky skintones, go ahead and rush to the store because there will be a foundation shade for you! Yaay!

At the store, I decided that I wanted to purchase the 10 color square palette for eyeshadows. I was given a black magnetic board (similar to a clip board you use in the office) and told to choose the colors that I wanted, I was then to pick the color out of its place and put it on the magnetic board. The magnet on the board allowed me to pick out the colors and lay them out as well as move them about until I was happy with my choices. I picked a few extra colors and brought them to the counter, I then browsed around more until I was ready to decide which 10 went in my pallete.

The only down side to this system was if someone else had picked the colors you wanted, there would just be an empty spot on the counter and you'd have to either have the number of the color you chose or wait until the colors were returned to its original container as you can see in the picture below. There was a young girl who must have been obsessed with blues as she picked at least 6 shades of blue and brought it to the SA who taught her how to apply these shades to her eyes! I was ok with that as I was not interested in the shades she chose but still....

The shadows come in several finishes :

• Matte finish which has a, well, matte finish!
• Pearl finish which has a frosty but satiny finish;
• DS or double sparkle, which are semi-matte and has very fine glitter (not the sort that gets all  over your face)
• AMC (Advanced Makeup Component) these finishes resist sweat and does not contain talc but has a healthy dose of vitamin E. This one is a matte finish with fine glitter;
• AMC 'Shine' - this one is similar to the one above but has slightly more shine and sparkle;

When you are done choosing the colors you like, the SA will pull out a new pan of that colors and you can either purchase it like that and fill the palette yourself or get the SA to fill your palette. They will be more than happy to help you fill it at no additional charge.

Below are the colors that I finally decided on and swatches of them on my arm as well as on a piece of paper with the numbers of the colors. Please note that the colors on my arm and on the paper are the closest and truest to the original, somehow the colors in the pan look a little off :-

I must admit that I had watched so many videos by the time the store opened that I had a list of some of the colors I wanted. It so happened that I had a note on my phone of the numbers of the shadows but my phone died in the shop. I was quite upset that this happened at such a bad time but I happened to be carrying my charger with me and asked the SA if I could quickly charge the phone to give it enough juice to retrieve the numbers I wanted and they were more than happy to do that for me. So a quick trip behind the counter to sort that out and I was free to look at the other goodies for a while.

This is when I fell in love with the AMC lipgloss and how beautiful the colors were and what depth it added to my lips. The funny thing is I thought I had broken the doe foot of the gloss when I opened it to find the doe foot missing! But the SA said that they were taken off for hygiene reasons. I was glad they did that because I would never have put the product on my lips to test it otherwise. She proceeded to give me a disposable applicator and I helped myself by taking a little of the product and applying it to my lips. It just made whatever color I had on more vibrant and luscious. AND there were so many products I had my eye on that I had to leave the gloss there for another time!

As for the blushes, I was so intrigued by the liquid one and tried a few before settling on one that was beautiful on my skin. I also picked out some brushes to add to my collection. Those are reviews that will be coming soon, readers!
To answer your questions on the quality of the shadows.....YES they are incredibly pigmented. This is especially so for the matte shades where one swipe of the brush produces enough pigment to be worked onto your lids. One more tip I can share with you is not to swipe your shadow brush across the pan which will produce dusty particles of the shadow and then fallout when you apply but rather press gently but firmly on to the color and pat onto eyelids - you will get enough product this way. In the picture below, I have written the numbers of the individual colors on the front of the palette so I did not need to keep taking the pans out to check. For this I was inspired by Many Faces of Beauty on Youtube and did the numbering with a gold felt tip pen. These are cheap and easy to find at a stationery store near you. I found it a little odd that there were no names but rather numbers for all their products - names are easier to remember and associate with a color rather than a number, but I am not complaining!

I want to say a big thank you to these 4 ladies from the store who all helped make my experience there a truly memorable one! Here they are posing with my purchases in the bag! You can see on the counter where they were assembling my freedom system!