Friday, April 19, 2019

I Feel Pretty Unpretty

This is my face - half with makeup on and the other half is the opposite of that.

The difference is there. My blemishes, pale lips are all there. I promise, they are there.

Do you want to know something? When I started to go out with full face of makeup on, people slowly began to notice me. That is the truth on that. Is this what pretty feels like? To be in the centre of attention?

Mind you, I never thought that I am pretty. No matter how many layers of makeup I used, the effort I put to fake a good smile or how bright my clothes are. Never in my right mind would thought that I am pretty. It's sickening, I know. Just when you thought I have enough, it's never enough.

Every now and then, I find myself scrolling through Instagram and I catch a glimpse of pretty girls that I envy the most. And I catch myself asking, why am I not pretty like her? Why can't I be pretty like her?

It is almost feel like so toxic. Just toxic, in my eyes. 

I am not one that will look into the mirror and tell myself I am pretty. I am not. I wish I were. It's almost impossible for me to take a barefaced photo because I never like it that way. I have never liked my appearance. I wish my nose was slimmer, eyes are a little expressive like they can tell stories, teeth are less crooked etc etc.

These insecurities are patented when I was a little kid, and still live today. These insecurities lingers and I have to accept it every day. I wish I can fit a lot of confidence in this huge body. It is then I wondered, this life is fair because it is unfair to all of us. You can't expect to have anything you want in life. 

I mean, Lord knows how powerful one can be if he/she can have anything that they desire. He knows the best. He knows anything and everything.

I want to start feeling pretty again, like the girls I always envy on Instagram (they are all so confident!). To accept what I see in the mirror. With or without makeup on, that girl in the mirror is almost pretty, but not quite certain, with blemishes all over the face and nose a little wide. Maybe we can ignore that unhealthy shine on her face. Also that chapped lips. 

I may not be pretty, yet. I may not like my appearance, yet. But I can learn to accept it. Maybe, to feel pretty is to accept.

Accept the flaws. Love them to bits. Maybe then, I might actually feel pretty, be pretty.


Sunday, April 14, 2019

5 Blogger Templates I Set My Eyes On

5 Blogger Templates I Set My Eyes On

Hello gorgeousness! Happy weekend to all of you who are reading. I hope you all are in the pink of health. I wanted to talk about 5 Blogger templates that I have been eyeing lately. It's a tough decision for me to change (or downgrade, if you will) my template because once you go Pipdig, you never go back. But the whole Pipdig fiasco was stressing me out. What they did was pretty nasty, I admit. 

ANYWAY, we're not here to discuss about the whole situation, so if you wish to know the about the 'tea', just type in 'Pipdig' on Twitter and thank me later.

I went onto Etsy a lot these few days (my search history is shaking) but I felt really overwhelmed by everything that I came right back off! I feel really hopeless about finding anything I like more than my Pipdig theme. It's like my pride and joy. But we gotta do what we gotta do, sis.

So, which 5 Blogger templates that I set my eyes on?

1. Belmondo from Theme Shine | RM105.92 | Preview / Shop
GORGEOUS. Gorgeous! I feel like this is the one I am gonna get. There's so many features (that I like, of course) that come with this template. The design is so right up my alley. 

2. ALESTAR from Theme Shine | RM105.92 | Preview 1 / Preview 2 / Shop
This template is so pretty though, but I think I like Belmondo more. You will have two template options if you purchase this - one comes with sidebar and the other has none. So generous of them! Did I mention, all of their themes come with free installation? Yes gworl.

3. Roonie from Templates By Kate | RM51 | Preview / Shop
Out of all the templates from Kate, I really like Roonie. I fell in love with it the first time I laid my eyes on it. It's simple and clean-looking. I really like that profile section feature. 

4. Marigold from Underline Designs | RM106.25 | Preview 1 / Preview 2 / Shop
OH MY GOODNESS. I really like the layout. It's such a beauty. Everything is perfect until you have to pay for the installation haha! I am not one that will spend hours and hours tweaking templates. I will get mental breakdown. It's so nice having someone to do it for you without involving any cost, no?

5. Minerva from Shop Gabriel Amelo | RM55.25 | Preview / Shop
Beautiful template and the layout is so eye-catching! I would just scroll on and on just to see the homepage. It's divine and I would purchase it just for fun. This theme is also doesn't come with installation. That one you have to purchase separately.

Do you have anything that you set your eyes on lately?

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

How I Clean My Makeup Brushes | Only 5 Simple Steps!

How I Clean My Makeup Brushes | Only 5 Simple Steps!

I admit I don't clean my makeup brushes as often as I should simply because it's so time consuming and I own a lot of makeup brushes. At any given time, I probably use 10 of them but still is the cleaning process going to take time. 

When I finally get around to clean my brushes, it feels like the world is a better place. I know that's quite hyperbolic but there's nothing like using a squeaky clean brush to blend eyeshadows and concealers. Not to mention, clean brushes won't cause breakouts and that's all that matters sometimes, rather than changing your skincare routine (oh I should take my own advice).

So, how do I clean my makeup brushes?

I only use these five simple steps to deeply (and easily) clean my brushes.
  1. Firstly, wet the bristles with water. Note: I only wash the bristles and keeping the handle as well as the metal part dry to extend the life of my brushes.
  2. While the brushes are still wet, swirl and rub them on a gentle soap (baby shampoo works well too) until most of the dirt come off.
  3. Using a textured cleaning mat that I got from Daiso, I swirl them against the textured patterns gently. This tool is so handy to have in hand if you have a huge brush collection. It breaks the oldest makeup build-up and residue just like that! *snaps finger*
  4. Next up, rinse the soapy brushes in the water and gently massage the bristles. I sometimes repeat the process depending on how dirty my brushes are.
  5. Once they're all clean, I reshape the brush heads and lay them flat at the edge of a counter to dry.

How I Clean My Makeup Brushes | Only 5 Simple Steps!How I Clean My Makeup Brushes | Only 5 Simple Steps!How I Clean My Makeup Brushes | Only 5 Simple Steps!

Voila! Easy-peasy. Honestly, I clean my brushes twice a month (if not, once). That's pretty okay considering how I hate cleaning my brushes. If I am being honest, sometimes I just use facial wipes to clean my brushes. It's faster and even quicker. You don't have to go to your bathroom and whatnot. But, I do not encourage the facial wipes method. It won't deeply cleanse your makeup brushes, okay?

Spare a day where you can spend most of the time at home and do nothing. That's a perfect day to clean your makeup brushes and when you're done, it feels like a real accomplishment.

How do you like to clean your makeup brushes?

Monday, April 08, 2019

Skincare Routine 2019 Edition | Oily Skin

Skincare Routine 2019 Edition | Oily Skin

Hello gorgeousness! I am finally going to do an updated skincare routine. This is definitely a long overdue post that I have been wanting to do. My insta peeps always keep the request coming so here it is. For over just December last year I have kept my skincare routine pretty simple, narrow and basic. You can say that I am being slightly strict with what I put on my skin now.

My skin definitely changed for the better when I use less products and I wish I knew that earlier but oh well. Now what else I can do other than hoping it's here to stay. I ain't risking my skin anymore. All I know is that the products I use now has helped immensely with my skin concerns and I won't be changing them, hopefully not in the near future. So, I will be sharing not 1 but 2 skincare routines today - being my AM routine and PM routine. Hopefully it's not too long and bore you.
Skincare Routine 2019 Edition | Oily Skin

TL;DR: Cleanse > Tone > Spot treat > Moisturise > Protect

Step 1 : Cleanse
I really adore this cleanser from CeraVe that I got for at least over three months. It does its job pretty well. I like it maybe a little too much because it's so gentle on the skin even though it's a foaming cleanser, my skin never feels tight after using it. It's a bomb dot com facial cleanser if you're in the mission to repair your moisture barrier. My skin reacted so well with this cleanser!

Tip: I am using the #60SecondRule to wash my face that's created by the amazing global esthetician on Twitter - Nai. Who knows washing your face for just 60 seconds could make your skin gleaming!

Step 2 : Tone
I always, always tone. I feel like my skin is in a good place right now is all because of the toner I use (or I could be wrong lol). You would know by now if you read my The Body Shop Vitamin E skincare range post. My current bottle is my fourth one! I love it and I wouldn't know honestly what do I do without this toner.

Tip: I usually do double or triple layer of toner to boost extra hydration into my skin. This tip is golden. It works like a miracle. I know it seems excessive but it works - it helps a lot with texture, pores and of course dark spots.

Step 3 : Spot treat
Spot treatment is like an option to me. I don't always use it but I do use it every now and then. This Hiruscar Post-acne Gel works pretty okay. You do have to use it frequently so you would be able to see the result faster. Also, using it after toning the skin works great too if you want to see immediate result.

Step 4 : Moisturise
I feel like I am cheating because I have been using this moisturiser for only 2 weeks by now but it works phenomenal! The Body Shop Vitamin E Gel Moisturiser is really lightweight and deeply hydrates without sitting on top of the skin. If I can talk sh*t about it, it's the scent. It smells like men's cologne. It's obnoxious!

Sometimes, I like to rotate this moisturiser with the Bio Essence Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Moisturizing Gel one too. Whichever I feel like using that day. Both of them perform the best as a moisturiser and didn't break me out!

Step 5 : Protect
I only started using sunscreen on and off two years back. I am pretty consistent with it now I guess. The one I love at the moment is the Wardah Sun Care Sunscreen Gel. It has an SPF30 and that's just what I need for every day use. No alcohol, no whitecast and is fantastic under makeup.
Skincare Routine 2019 Edition | Oily Skin

TL;DR: Remove > Cleanse > (Exfoliate - optional) > Tone > Serum > Mask > Moisturise

Step 1 : Remove
I remove my makeup or pretty much just every day skincare residue with Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water. The one with blue cap is perfect for oily babes like me. It doesn't sting my eyes, doesn't burn or strip my skin.

Every other day when I wear slightly heavy makeup, I will use the Simple Kind To Skin Hydrating Cleansing Oil just to easily break down all the layers of makeup and I will use the hydrating Sephora Collection Watermelon Cleansing Wipes afterwards. I then will cleanse my face (again) with facial cleanser just because.

Step 2 : Cleanse
When it comes to PM routine, I usually use slightly "heavy" and thick type of products as that works the best for my skin type. I use The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Wash during my PM routine only. Although it's a cream type of facial wash, it's really gentle on my skin, I don't feel any tightness after washing my face. It removes every last trace of makeup or dirt. I really like it. It also smells good.

Step 3 : Tone
I really like my Vitamin E toner but part of me just don't want it to run out a little too fast. I gotta do something about it by having backup. So I tried Clinelle PureSwiss Hydracalm Lotion over two months ago and I kinda dig it. The consistency is almost the same as my Vitamin E toner except thicker. But I didn't get breakouts which I thank God so much for that. I just don't like the scent - it smells like a bed of roses. It's too much.

Step 4 : Serum
I have just started using serums again. I would say it took me a month or so to calm my skin without these additional steps in my skincare routine. Now I am using a Vitamin C serum from Wardah. This is the only serum that works for my skin other than the Bougas Beauty Serum. I use the Bougas serum every now and then but the Vitamin C serum is definitely a staple. I use it daily for my PM routine.

Vitamin C is really good if you have PIH like my skin. And this one from Wardah is pretty mild in my opinion but doesn't matter as long as my skin can handle it.

Step 5 : Mask
The mask I am using in my skincare routine has been talked about before on the blog. I will leave the link here for your convenience: POST. I only stick to this brand specifically for my weekly-mask-time but I have used quite a few from different brands too. I just love Mediheal masks as you're able to see the result almost immediately after using it.

Now, I have heard somewhere else that the only thing masks do is hydrate and that's it. Something is not quite right there (to some extent) as we all know masks are catered to different functions to kinda solve different concerns in my humble opinion. I could be wrong but I do think masks are more than just hydrate.

Step 6 : Moisturise
I was so afraid to use cream type of moisturiser because y'all know, with this skin type? It will only make it worse. Until that one night where I finally gave it a try (because I bought that using my own money and I want to make use of the things I bought using my hard-earn money) and I love it!

I use The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream as my moisturiser and I only use it during my PM routine. It basically works well for my skin - lightweight, quite tacky but didn't break me out and my skin glows every time.
Skincare Routine 2019 Edition | Oily Skin

Exfoliate. You have to exfoliate regardless of your skin type and I do exfoliate my skin (if I am not being lazy) three times a week. I love my Pixi Glow Tonic (chemical exfoliator) and St. Ives Green Tea Scrub (physical exfoliator) so I will rotate them according to whichever I am feeling the most that particular day.

Both works great to remove dead skin. They will leave your skin baby's butt smooth. If you're feeling your skin a little bit rough, just exfoliate them away! I will do this step after washing my face with facial wash and before toning (so the skin's pH is balanced again!)

So, that's that. I hope you enjoy a rundown of my skincare routine. I can't believe using these 'minimal' products helped calm my skin. The results are just astonishing! I love my skin more than ever now. I would say, if you're suffering from breakouts, don't be afraid to change your skincare routine. Get out from that bubble and find heck lot of hydrating stuff because #HydrationIsKey.

What's your skincare routine like? What is your skin type and what are some products you swear by in your skincare routine?

Friday, April 05, 2019

Oily Skin? No More With Hey, Babe Skin Pre-Makeup Oil

Hey, Babe Skin Pre-Makeup Oil | LENNE ZULKIFLLY

Hello gorgeousness! So, Chloe from Hey, Babe Skin reached out to me about over a month ago and asked if I would like to give some thoughts on their recently launched pre-makeup oil. I honestly feel intrigued about this little thing. I feel the need to try it out myself. I occasionally incorporated facial oils in my skincare routine and a lot of them were mediocre and 'myeh' feeling.

I posted a couple of sneak peek on Instagram (follow me if you haven't already) when I first got the pre-makeup oil. I am a fan of its packaging and the scent was all over the box. I was quite excited, you would know if you're following me lol. I will have it on the Highlights if you haven't caught up with it. That is if I manage to not be lazy..

Hey, Babe Skin Pre-Makeup Oil | LENNE ZULKIFLLY

What Is It?
It's an facial oil (duh?) that help reduces oily complexion with makeup. It acts like a primer if that doesn't ring your bell. I know what you're thinking. How is it possible? An oil that will help our complexion to be oil-free? That's almost impossible to take in but it is what it is. At Hey, Babe Skin, they target problems like oily/ dry/ combination skin with makeup + skincare. It's a very versatile and flexible product where you can use it as part of your makeup or skincare routine.

What Does It Do and What It Claims?
  • Reduces oily complexion with makeup up to 50%
  • Reduces excess oil production with makeup
  • Longer lasting makeup
  • Helps blend foundation to skin flawlessly
  • Mattify makeup
  • Tame pores, soothes and calms skin
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • 100% natural-derived ingredients 
  • Cruelty-free, alcohol-free

The pre-makeup oil is housed in a small vial with a dropper to dispense the product. It's pretty cute with all the labelling. It's pretty straightforward and see-through packaging, which I like as I am able to see the actual product. On top of that, the overall packaging is cute and quite hygienic as it avoids direct contact between the applicator with our fingers and skin.

Hey, Babe Skin Pre-Makeup Oil | LENNE ZULKIFLLY

Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Rosa Damascena Oil, Rosa Centifolia Flower

Ingredient Analysis:
1. Right off the bat, the ingredients are minimal and I can see that jojoba oil (or goat nut oil) is their main ingredient which doesn't trigger anything negative on my skin so that's great. It's also high in Vitamin E, EU allergen-free, and fungal acne (malassezia) safe.

2. I would consider this as magic in a bottle because the star ingredient itself which is the goat nut oil that regulates sebum production, has anti-inflammatory properties and seals the skin with long lasting moisture.

3. 86% of the ingredients are listed as "low risk" according to the EWG Health Rating standard. That's quite high and you know most of the ingredients won't upset your skin. My skin reacts almost immediately if she hates something but I guess this product is pretty mild that ruining my skin is not on its to-do list. Also, I would say this pre-makeup oil is hugely consists of emollients as it is so moisturizing, you can see it for yourself on SkinCarisma.

How To Use (makeup-wise)
They suggest to mix the pre-makeup oil with your foundation but since I am going foundation-free as of recently, this method is not ideal for me anymore. BUT! I have tried to mix 2 drops of the pre-makeup oil with my favorite foundation just for fun and I kinda like the finish. The mixture is flawless and looked super healthy and glowy!

How To Use (skincare-wise)
I can see myself using this pre-makeup oil for tons if its skincare benefit rather than makeup but both methods work just as best in my opinion. As far as skincare goes, they suggest to use 1 drop and massage all over skin before applying moisturizer. Well, that works too but have you tried to mix it with your moisturizer? Like use both on the same time? Man, it's magical. I can stare at my glowy skin for hours! Really nice if you're going for the matte makeup look after. You don't look matte-er and flat. So I really recommend you to try my personal favorite method too.

Hey, Babe Skin Pre-Makeup Oil | LENNE ZULKIFLLY
I like it so much it's almost run out
My Thoughts:
This pre-makeup oil is meant for babes like me. I am usually an oil-slick but every time I mixed the pre-makeup oil along with my gel moisturizer, my skin never felt so good. Now, the pre-makeup oil is not meant to get rid of your sebum hundred percent but I can definitely see less oil on my face. Difference is a difference. That's definitely a positive progress, no?

I also think that my makeup lasts longer and still looks fresh after 6 hours when I use this pre-makeup oil! Usually even in an air-conditioned room, after 2 hours I will catch myself as an oil-slick already and I am not cute anymore but if I use this oil, my face will only start to look a bit shiny at the 4-5 hour mark. That's pretty fair considering how freakin' oily my skin is.

For those days where I need to run errands and not being in an air-conditioned room and brave the Malaysian sun, my matte base makeup is not matte anymore. That's fair enough. Nothing can survive the Malaysian sun nowadays and Hey, Babe Skin never claims to produce a product that will make your makeup survive the Malaysian sun.

As far as the product itself, it absorbs so fast! You don't have to worry about the oil is sitting on top of your skin because it's not going to do that. Comfortability is one of the thing I look forward to when it comes to skincare. Who would want to wear something if it gives you itchiness and overall just unpleasant experience? Not me.

Hey, Babe Skin Pre-Makeup Oil | LENNE ZULKIFLLY
The oil blended all over my hand - resulting really smooth surface

But I guess, in my humble opinion, doesn't matter if you use it for the sake of makeup or skincare or both, it's going to work. Period. Now, let's go through the claims and let's just see from there.

  • Reduces oily complexion with makeup up to 50% - Checked
  • Reduces excess oil production with makeup - Checked
  • Longer lasting makeup - Super checked!
  • Helps blend foundation to skin flawlessly - Checked
  • Mattify makeup - Not at all
  • Tame pores, soothes and calms skin - Very checked!

So far, so good. This pre-makeup oil almost lives up to all of its claims! I like that. Who doesn't like brands that really deliver? I think Hey, Babe Skin is that one potential brand to grow bigger and successful-er. They really did their research and not playing around while creating this oil. I don't mind spending RM 49 for a product that really works. I really am dependant on this product now to achieve healthy and glowy looking skin. I am OBSESSED! Please check out their website and if you're planning to get the pre-makeup oil, I would say go for it!

Hey, Babe Skin Pre-Makeup Oil | LENNE ZULKIFLLY

Have you heard of Hey, Babe Skin before? Would you try it?
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