Sunday, December 6, 2015

Discovery

I'm finding out more about myself this year. I realise I like the colours of black and white together, especially in patterns like marble, chevron, checkers, jigsaws, houndstooth and so on.

I like incorporating wood and woodlike elements in the house, such as corkboard, rope, hemp. I also like using gold metallic highlights in living areas and silver ones in the wet rooms.

I love glitter, but in tight spaces. I like gemstones for its shiny sheens. I like pastel colours in bold batches.

We were raised to chase good grades and a high income pay, but is that really the end goal of life?


Sunday, September 6, 2015

REVIEW: Nature's Republic Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel Mist



I'm a lover of aloe vera products -- we all are aware of its rich moisture content which aids the skin from harmful external environments. Its high content of Vitamin C, E and mineral ingredients also easily soothes sun heated skin gently. 

So when I discovered the Nature's Republic Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel Mist, I HAD to get it.


Its basically aloe vera in mist form -- so easy to apply! No need for you to use fingers and spread any goo all over your face and having to wash your hands after. (Yes, I'm lazy like that....) 

MY REVIEW

The liquid mix in the spray has the consistency of water, so it's really easy to apply. The nozzle is strong and gives you wide misting coverage -- even with a big face like mine, I take about four spritz all over for easy maximum coverage.

 The smell is extremely refreshing -- I know aloe vera does not have a particular smell, but if I had to describe it, I'd peg it as "aquatic" and "herby".

It's also very convenient. It's easy to carry and use when travelling or just generally during the day -- especially at the office after lunch when your skin dries out from all that air conditioning. 

Overall, I rate this an 8/10 and I'd definitely be buying this again! 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Q&A: Nomadic Boys and Their Cosmetic Secrets!


I'm sure many of us have been to new places and new countries in search of fun, pleasure and new experiences to cherish --but how many of us have gone so far as to take a year off backpacking across the world?

That is just what the Nomadic Boys did.



Stefan and S├ębastien are the Nomadic Boys, two gorgeous men currently traversing across Southeast Asia having started their journey a year ago.

They were in Kuching three weeks ago, exploring the fun and fanaticism August has to offer such as the Kuching Food Festival and the Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 -- both perfect Sarawakian experiences for visitors in my opinion!

As an avid follower of their blog, I got in touch with them via Facebook. We then met up and became fast friends! I can tell these lovable goofballs are having the time of their lives, exploring diverse cultures and blogging consistently along the way.

I admire the way they immerse themselves fully in each location, learning bits and pieces to form interesting articles on their website -- you can check them out here. In fact they're so in depth, they even come up with adventures, travel tips and guides not known even to the locals! 

Getting to know them got me thinking: How do they maintain their skincare regime? Do they have problems with maintaining their hygiene at some point? (That would be the makings of a horror movie for me.)

And I'm sure they must have come across some beauty tips and tricks along the way! 

And here's how things went down: 

MAN IN FACE MASK: As gorgeous handsome men traversing countries, cities and rural areas for more than a year now, I would like to start off by saying congrats on the venture so far! 

Nomadic Boys: Oh Ronnie you tease! You make us blush -- thank you! And how lucky we are to meet Sarawak's finest reporter. (Now its MY turn to blush.)

MIFM: Here's what I'd like to start off with: How do you maintain your personal care? What is your skincare regime like? 

Sebastien is seen cutting Stefan's hair at the Tsenkher
Hot Springs in central Mongolia (July 2014) 
Nomadic Boys: We are backpackers at the end of the day travelling long term on a budget. But despite this, we refuse to become one of those types of backpackers who grow a beard…never wash…wear those disgusting baggie pants that they seem to all wear…grow long hair etc.

We have learnt to perfect cutting our own hair and shave relatively frequently (stubble ok, but beards, no way!).

On the skin care side of things, this is where things vary. Stefan is more rough and ready, and will happily use sun creams as a moisturiser. Sebastien still reacts in shock at Stefan. 

Sebastien insists on his skin care products and sees these as vital to his personal upkeep.



MIFM: Has there ever been difficulties in keeping clean? Do tell us some stories!

Nomadic Boys: Travelling in Mongolia was fun but rustic. There are no roads outside the capital city of Ulan Bator, so you have to take a tour with a 4x4 and camp with the nomadic families in their gers / yurts. They don’t have showers. So in this case, we got into a routine of baby wipe showers. 

We managed a week tops before we cracked and had to return to a nice hot shower.


MIFM: What is your absolute must-have cosmetic during your travels? Why is it important to you?

Nomadic Boys: Stefan is easy and will just buy whatever is on offer in the local supermarket. What Stefan saves in cosmetics however, Sebastien will use to spend on his… The must haves for Sebastien are Clarins if he can find them but in the alternative he has learnt to settle for L’Oreal (!).


MIFM: What is the most interesting, unique, never-seen-before cosmetic or beauty product you have tried/seen so far in your travels?

In Myanmar, the Burmese wear a permanent face mask all day long. No kidding! It’s called a thanaka - a face cosmetic paste made from grinding water with the bark of a particular tree from central Myanmar. It is believed to act as a sunblock, anti ageing and prevent acne.

At our Home stay at Yoe Yoe Lay guesthouse in Mandalay, we ditched our Boots Face Mask and replaced it with thanaka! 

The Boys tying thanaka in Mandalay, Myanmar (Jan 2015)


MIFM: Tell us more about your spa experiences so far -- do you make a point of trying spas in different places? What's your most memorable one so far? 

Mandala Spa Boracay, the Philippines (June 2015) 
Nomadic Boys: For Sebastien’s birthday we worked with the excellent Mandala Spa & Villas on Boracay island which was two days of massages, treatments, yoga and a pole dancing class.

They used our image for their marketing as they wanted to promote their “Rainbow Package” to the gay community and we wrote about them herehttp://nomadicboys.com/mandala-spa-review/

We never turn down an offer to work with spas!



MIFM: Based on your experiences and in your opinion, which country is the most conscientious towards beauty products?

Nomadic Boys: Sebastien immediately says FRANCE! In Asia, the Koreans take it to another level – we learnt in China the phrase “going to Korea” really involved going for plastic surgery – in Korea. Unfortunately (in our opinion) this plastic surgery was aimed at Western-ising themselves as much as possible.

Stefan trying out the whitening shampoo
 Stef, Hoi An, Vietnam (April 2015) 
Whitening creams we’ve notice are also incredibly popular throughout Asia, particularly in Vietnam and the Philippines. 

We Europeans see dark tanned skin as something beautiful, sexy and exotic – and to an extent, a sign of wealth – you can afford a holiday and get a tan. We have a huge sun bed culture in Europe.

In Asia, the opposite applies – if you’re tanned, you’re seen as a field worker, a peasant who works the land, who can’t afford a better life, so white is the idea. Completely bizarre to us.

But this didn’t stop Stefan using the whitening creams as his moisturiser as an alternative to sun block creams (Sebastien still reacts with horror at this) – we got a lot of free samples of the stuff travelling through Vietnam. They also have whitening shampoo (!)



MIFM: The question on everybody's mind... Who is more beauty conscious: S├ębastien or Stefan? 

Sebastien! :)

MIFM: Any other comments to Face Mask readers out there? 

Nomadic Boys: We love a good face mask and think it makes a great start to a fun night out! 

The Boys' pre-going out mask selfie for New Years 
Eve in Bangkok, Thailand (December 2014)


Thank you so much for your time, Boys! We hope to meet you soon in your future travels, I'd love to come by London someday as well.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Cheers!

The Man In The Face Mask

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tony Moly Egg Pore Deep Cleansing Foam


Hello everyone! I'm back with another review for a cleansing face wash.

I have been searching for THE face wash -- you know, the one which goes perfectly with your skin, leaving you feeling fresh and clean after each wash and never tire you out? 

When I saw the Tony Moly Egg Pore Deep Cleansing Foam on Althea Korea, I was intrigued and got myself one. How does  an "eggy" cleansing product smell, feel, work? 



According to its website: 
"This refreshing cleanser contains delicate scrubby bits that smoothens out rough patches and lift away grime and impurities, giving skin a thorough clean. Gentle cleansers wash away excess oil and dirt for a comfortable clean that leaves skin noticeably smoother with renewed resiliency. 

Paraben-, silicon-, sulphate-and benzophenon-free formula makes it safe to use on all skin types. The scrub foam cleanser is especially adapted to clean skin with problematic pores so that's the skin can be left perfectly clean."
My Review: 
Upon use, the foam lathers and bubbles beautifully. The smell is refreshingly nice -- reminiscent of eggs, I should add. (At one point, I felt I was in the kitchen baking!) I can feel it contains small beads as I lather it up. 

The foam cleanses very well, leaving my face feeling clean and smooth for a long period of time after wash. I do feel a certain tightening of the skin as well after using.  

Verdict: An 8 out of 10, well worth using daily  for 150ml which will last me months. Retail price RM45, but I got mine from Althea at RM31. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Jeju Volcanic Clay Pore Mask and Super Volcanic Clay Review


I have a confession: Clay masks are my weak spot. Tell me you sell them and I'd buy without thinking!

There's something about it drying on my face and squeezing out oil from my pores that feel so satisfying.


And so I HAD to buy Innisfree's Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask and its superior cousin when shopping on Althea Korea.


According to innisfree's website:

 3-in-1 : Removes Sebum + Brightens Tones + Trouble Care! Soothing and Moisturizing

Great absorption of sebum of jeju volcanic clay!


Clean Jeju volcanic ingredients made by the stiff lava after the volcano of Jeju exploded clears the deep pores with strong purifying function of skin.

1. Great absorption of sebum and impurities
Fine porous structure of Jeju volcanic clay strongly absorbs sebum inside pores.Remove impurities by giving clear and complete look of skin. 

2. Gives good condition of skin for makeup
A clay mask with Jeju volcanic scoria to absorb sebum and impurities for clean skin pores delivering mineral ingredients deep inside the skin and brightens, clarifies skin tone and texture.

*Super Volcanic Clay vs Original Volcanic Clay
-Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask : For those with various pore concerns!
-Volcanic Pore Clay Mask[ Original] : For those with sebum concerns!



MY REVIEW

This mask is quite thick and sticky -- on your skin, it feels like cakey mud. Despite this, it was surprisingly easy to apply all over the face.


The Super Volcanic version is greyer than the first, and after application gives you a more cool feeling on your skin -- sort of as though there was menthol or toothpaste on your face cooling it down. As it dries, the buzz fades off.

Both smells "muddy", but not in an offensive manner. 

Overall, I would rate this a 9/10. The quality is top notch and the product is well-verified to have come from a reputable source (Jeju Island). Its a must-have in my books! 

What do you think about this product? Do you agree with what I have to say? 


Althea got me blogging again!

Like I mentioned before, I don't have a good track record when it comes to blogging... I've had a stop-go habit the past few years, but now I've found a calling sooo important it's worth keeping up.

Aaand that's cosmetics!

It really started with Althea Korea, a new and amazing website that connects South Korea with both West and East Malaysia.

We all know Korea produces the best beauty products -- but how many of us can source for them, let alone afford them?

Althea solves both problems by bringing Korean beauty care items via its website, targetted at Malaysians specifically! Prices are in Ringgit Malaysia to ease the procss and are displayed clearly with each product, and they will ship from Korea right to your doorsteps.

I came across Althea Korea promoted by my beauuuutiful friend Tammy Lim over at Plus Size Kitten (hello babe!!) who I consider the Goddess of all Beauty Products. Her reviews, her experiences and her words are tahap dewa ok!

Althea began selling to the general public on July 1 with their plethora of products neatly displayed on the website -- customers can navigate either according to brands or product category.


What makes them stand out as a Korean website during the promo month is this thing called Daebak deals -- basically its a really good deal for a limited promotion time of 24 hours, so if you choose to purchase, you don't have much time to think! You need to snap them up quickly! 

The first deal saw the Nature Republic 92% Aloe Vera Soothing Gel (300ml) going for a mere RM1! Yes, RM1! The second was the Jeju Super Volcanic Mask going for a full rebate, meaning you have to purchase it for its selling price but they will then credit that amount back to your account (so technically, its free).

The third deal was for Laniege Sleeping Mask via a buy one free one promotion. After that, they had two more one-off deals, bringing back the Aloe Vera for RM1 and promoting its Piolang 24K Gold Eye Mask for a buy one free one promotion. 

This deal changes every three days for the first two promotional weeks. I bought them all! 

No seriously, I have the delivery boxes to prove it: 


Despite buying all these, I didn't burn a hole in my wallet! Well, not as badly as I originally would if I did. 

One thing I love about Althea is its comparatively attractive prices. Products sold on Althea are already discounted, they will display the selling price which is somewhat lower than the original price.

AND if you purchase more than RM150 per order, you'll get free shipping direct from Korea, which is an attractive deal. 


MY FEEDBACK 

I have to say I've had my share of complicated, gut-wrenching online purchases which keep adding on price after price on to your "final price" -- but not on Althea,  luckily!

Choices on the website ARE bountiful -- they started off with some really well-known brands like Innisfree, Nature Republic, Laniege, Tony Moly and so on, inculcating a balance between categories as well. Even up to today, they continue to add more products and brands to its offering. 

So, that's my POV on my Althea haul. I hope this lengthy piec gave you some insight on what you can expect from your future shopping experience from Althea.kr! tell me what was YOUR favourite product? I might just give it to you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My first post! + Basics of Skincare

Welcome to my musings of a male cosmetic lover!

I have to be frank: I don't have a good track record in keeping blogs. I previously ventured into blogging at www.r-o-n-n-i-e.blogspot.com for a class in university, something to do with online business management (Irony!). Since then, me and a group of close friends blog to keep each other posted on whats happening in each others' lives near, but that phased out when Facebook got popular and everyone got on that instead.

I'm back this time with a mission, and a strong one! I'm here to share my love of cosmetics to the world.


I know this segment is heavily saturated with female bloggers.. hence I think being male helps! Make full use of your potential.

I hope by doing this I can break the stereotype of men using cosmetics. I know this isn't a serious an equality platform as others have, but it's what I believe in.

Blogging gives me a wide platform to voice my opinion accompanied by photos and personal observations compared to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  I also love cosmetics!

Okay, when I say cosmetics I have to be specific: as a guy, i care about my looks. Your face is your most important portrait to the world. When a person talks to you, when they see you -- they look at your expression, your face.

And so I've always been a firm believer of  taking good care of your one and only mug.




I wouldn't dabble into make up, but I do believe in using these basic items:

1. Facial wash and foam: Washing is an important facet of staying clean. Find a good, gentle foam you can use to wash daily. Get a good scrub to deeply cleanse every two or three days. It is important to find a gentle wash for daily cleansing, to remove dirt accumulated from a long hard day's work.

2. Scrub: A deep scrub is necessary to dig deep into those pores!

3. Toner, to close your pores after washing. This step is important! If you don't do this, you may end up with huge pores because you don't close them up and dirt easily gets in and clog up. 

4. Masks: There are two types -- the one that deep cleans and the one that nourishes. (I have a weakness for clay masks...) 

5. Moisturisers and that encompasses serums, soothing gels, essence, yada yada. Basically EVERYTHING can be nourishing to your skin... Today we even have stuff like snail goo, caviar, gold or even placenta for your face! Can you imagine?! 

With that out there, I hope you find my reviews useful to you as I experiment with all sorts of products!

Cheers to the weekend!