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Review: DrGL foundation and pressed powder

Even though I’ve been a freelance makeup artist and designer for some time, I realised I haven’t been consistently putting up beauty or makeup tutorials. And the truth is… I’ve been trying to avoid putting my face on my site as much as possible. (See how small my face is on my profile photo on the right? Yeap!)

This year, I’ve partially decided to be less self-conscious and well, just go for it! After all, I started this blog to share useful things I’ve learnt with others. And if there’s at least one person who can benefit from my posts, then I guess my time spent would have been worth it :)

Today’s review will be on foundation and sensitive skin pressed powder by DrGL.

Dr GL foundation and pressed powder review

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Hair treatment at Philip Kingsley

I’ve always wondered what goes on during hair treatments and always thought it was only for people with more significant hair issues. So when Cozycot recently asked me to try out a hair treatment session at Philip Kingsley, I was initially doubtful as to what difference it could make to my hair.

It’s been years since I’ve chemically treated or colored my hair since I was tired of it being so dry after a while. So the only issue I’ve been having is an incredibly tense scalp, especially after having my hair up in a ponytail for too long (don’t yell, I know it’s not really a problem per se!)

As with all treatments go, this is the ‘before’ shot in the morning:

philip kingsley review for cozycot before

Here’s it’s clear (and I confess) that I don’t comb my hair regularly didn’t comb my hair this morning (believe what you want). :)

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Make a PVC makeup brush holder

Combining the love of sewing and make-up? What more could we ask for!

While there are often makeup brush holders in stores, they often come in black faux leather. I’m not a huge fan of those as the dark colors make it hard for me to see my brushes and the material disintegrates over time. Plus, they often don’t come in the exact specifications I want – I have a usual set of brushes that I tend to carry around for travel or touch-ups for others on set.

There have been some DIY tutorials I’ve come across, but they often feature ones made of cloth and require a lot more sewing than I’d bother to do for this (oops!). In addition, cloth brush holders can’t be wiped easily and you’d have to wash them frequently to ensure it’s hygienic enough.

So… in comes a custom PVC makeup brush holder!!

DIY tutorial - PVC makeup brush holder

Customize this to hold your usual set of brushes (and even your sponges/ powder puffs). No need for hems since PVC doesn’t fray like most woven fabrics. Plus, see exactly what you’re carrying and clean it easily when it gets dirty! The list of benefits goes on and on… :)

Here’s how you can make your own:

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Behind-the-scenes: French jewelry spread

It’s been some time since I updated my online portfolio for make-up. A lot of the time it’s easy to just do gigs without keeping track of the photos!

Here’s sharing some photos of a female magazine shoot which I did make up for. The jewelry was so beautiful! No wonder each brand’s PR rep had a security personnel with them… Definitely tempting to just grab something and run for it ;)

Behind-the-scenes shots with my trusty phone camera (the final shots are further down):

French jewelry nuyou magazine shoot | make up

After the wig was scrunched up for more character:

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Clarins double fix mascara – kiss smudging goodbye!

Feeling antsy when trying new mascaras and even waterproof ones? For many, smudging tends to occur after some time. The problem? Waterproof mascara may be waterproof, but it sure isn’t oil-proof to your eye cream or the natural oils from your face.

Those feelings of optimism when the latest lasting mascara is launched are often overwhelmed by disappointment (and possibly embarrassment) when you see the mascara smudge by the end of the day. I now only test makeup that risk going wrong on days out with my good friends. Because good friends will tell you when something is terribly wrong instead of letting you discover it in the mirror later on. :)

The only other options then would be Japanese mascaras – these form a polymer tubing around your lashes (e.g. dejavu fiberwig and canmake gokubuto). More recently, Maybelline has also caught on with their version: Lashionista. These are great for everyday wear as the tubings only come off with warm water. This means fuss free removal in a hot shower and great for traveling! But I digress :)

Other mascaras do provide really excellent solutions for building volume and length. I’ve fallen in love with quite a few others (hello Dior…) which I use for my make up clients and models who don’t have an issue with smudging. But now comes the ultimate solution! Clarins double fix mascara.

Clarins double fix mascara

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Bally showcase with Dior 1 Couleur

Apologies for not posting as often recently! Things have been a bit hectic (excited to announce a new collection soon) but I’d like to share a highlight from last week and a new make up fave!

I got the opportunity to work with Sam Ong, a celebrity make up artist in Singapore, on a Bally fashion showcase! For everyone who thinks it’s all glitz and glamor, check out the storeroom in which we had to do the makeup and dressing in! (It was still awesome nonetheless – imagine being so close to many Bally goodies!).

Bally fashion make up autumn winter showcase

One of the products I discovered through Sam is the 1 Couleur Eye Gloss by Dior (okay I know I’m a teeny bit slow on trying all new products upon launch immediately – I guess this means I’m happy with the ones I’ve been using so far?).

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Makeup expiration date cheat sheet

In my interaction with friends and various talents, it occurred to me that many people don’t watch out for their make up expiration dates even though they know they should. While I do that for the make up I use on professional gigs, I realized I’ve been quite slack with my personal items too.

As a visual person, I realised I do really badly with lists. I also realized that if the list of relevant shelf lives aren’t nearby, most people wouldn’t bother marking it down after purchasing new makeup.

And so… Here’s introducing a new makeup expiration date cheatsheet for your use! Now on how to use it:

free printable make up expiry date cheat sheet guide

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True nudes with nail foundation and tint

Are you someone who has various shades of “nude” nail polish stashed away somewhere? Guilty!

But here’s a smarter nude – the HIPPxRGB nail collection. A collaboration between celebrity stylist Jenna Hipp and RGB founder Gina Carney, this collection introduces a cosmetic approach to nail color.

HIPPxRGB nail foundation opaque nude

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10 ways to style short hair

Arizona Muse Daphne Groeneveld Self Service Magazine Issue 35

The weekend is coming!! Here’s a fun inspirational video on 10 different ways to style short hair.

No more fears about being stuck with the same style even if you have your hair chopped short. Enjoy! :)

{B&W image from Self Service Magazine}

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Fashion steps out!

It’s the start to the fashion season in Singapore and what better way to kick it off than having 150 models walk down a 600m-long strip of road at the Orchard Fashion Runway!

Was asked to help out with make-up for some of the brands and boy was I excited! A lot of media photos show what went on during the walk but here are some of the behind-the-scenes photos from inside the tent itself. Enjoy!


2pm. The calm before the storm as we set up to start working on make up.

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Samples keep getting better

I love receiving packages in the mail. And I love receiving deluxe samples. So it’s definitely no surprise that I love BellaBox and the goodies they send over each month and they just keep getting better! :)

bellabox deluxe samples february

Now to look at what came in this month:

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Dry shampoo rocks

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to fall asleep without cleanly washed hair (yes, I guess I was quite a grimy kid). But now my ability to live with my greasy roots and flat hair the day after has been tested again!

Just went for a minor operation which required stitches on my scalp and in preparation, I finally got myself some dry shampoo that I’ve been meaning to try but never felt the need for since I wash my hair everyday.

Introducing my new found friend – Volumnizing Dry Shampoo Spray by Oscar Blandi.

This dry shampoo spray is lemony and smells uber fresh. It doesn’t leave white residue like some other dry shampoos, which is awesome since my hair is dark.

It definitely gets rid of the greasiness and leaves your hair feeling fresh. A very good alternative if you don’t have time to wash your hair/ need a quick pick-me-up mid day/ need to use as prep for certain hairstyles/ want to refresh yourself after overnight traveling. Or if like me, you have to keep certain areas of your head dry post-surgery. Just point and spray! :)

p/s for those in Singapore, you can find this at Sephora – S$19 for a 1.4oz bottle.

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Make up for TV dramas

A few months ago I had the opportunity of doing make up for two episodes of a Channel 5 TV series called ‘In Cold Blood’. And boy is there a world of difference on set for photoshoots and drama TV!

For TV, the fans and air-conditioning is often turned off and temperatures soar when crammed into a tiny room with intense emotions or when standing in our crazy afternoon sun. So out comes the tissue and powder ever so often to ward off sweat and shine!

Furthermore, everything needs to be dead quiet and still during filming which leads to a whole bunch of people trying to stay out of the way and not cast shadows, but keeping close enough on standby in case anything else is needed when the director yells “cut!”

Scene changes are fast and furious and hair and makeup have to change equally quickly to match the character and script. This and the shoot often lasts way more than 12 hours at a go (and filming for these episodes was two days in a row). Talk about intense!

The fun thing though is that you get to see the story unravel before your eyes so it’s like watching a play live (in disjointed parts. and on repeat). It’s also great to build different dimensions of a character with hair and makeup compared to beauty or fashion looks for photo shoots.

Sharing the end-credits here and kudos to the great team that made this show awesome!

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Nails get festive!

Some time ago I wrote about Deborah Lippman’s amazing glitter nail polishes. If you’re based in Singapore, Luxola is giving a 35% storewide discount on all items over the next four days. This makes the nail polishes about the same price compared to ordering in the States! Yay for sales! :)

This Christmas season, OPI has teamed up with Muppets for a super fun collection!

For now, my absolute favourite festive nail “colour” would be Rainbow Connection. How can you not smile when you think of the name and look at all the different sparkly colours!

Plus with so many colours represented, it’s hard for your nails not to match your outfit according to the traditional “if-there’s-a-similar-colour-somewhere-it-matches” theory lol.

Three other advantages of using glitter nail polish is that it’s:

  • more forgiving when painting
  • resistant to scratches and scuffs
  • great for covering gelish manicures that are growing out if you have no time to get a soak-off or prefer not to put your fingers through the harsh removal too often

Enjoy and have a wonderful Christmas coming up!! :)

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Cleaning up for Christmas

With the year drawing to a close, it’s good to get organised so you can enjoy get-togethers with peace of mind.

If you often find your small make up items sprawled all over your dresser or even your room like me, I’ve found a nifty storage solution from MUJI that doesn’t take up much space!

This plastic unit comes with six drawers and are the perfect size for all your small cosmetic and beauty items. I filled my drawers starting with items that I use commonly at the top such as creams and blotters, followed by concealer/ foundation/ eye shadows/ primers in the next drawer. Below that would be the blushers, followed by lip colours. Essentially, all in the order in which I use them from top to bottom.

I probably don’t have enough many personal items to fill each drawer, but for size reference, here are some photos:

Each drawer comes with one removable divider and even fits the thick tarte cheek stain perfectly!

Many lip colours with plenty of space to spare! And the more amazing thing is that should you not have so much vertical space, you can rearrange the drawers to sit horizontally:

In Singapore, the MUJI set of drawers are priced at S$39. Just nice for a Christmas gift for someone or even yourself :)

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Magnetic nail polish

After the OPI shatter craze, nail polish gets even crazier with magnetic nail lacquers from nails inc.!

nails inc magnetic polish

Each bottle comes with a magnetic cap that creates instant patterns when held over the nail due to the metallic particles in the lacquer. See it in action here.

Available in Trafalgar Square (silver/ chrome), Houses of Parliament (deep purple) and Big Ben (gold) from Sephora US and nails inc. London. A perfect marriage of physics and beauty. :)

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The more pockets the better

Nothing ground-breaking, but just wanted to share a new makeup bag I found recently.

Unlike many cosmetic and toiletry bags, this one has a ton of compartments which I LOVE! Most other bags come with one main compartment with few additional pockets but this one just takes the cake.

It’s called Voyager Deluxe and it’s a remake of the original Voyager bag from Make Up Store.

The exterior is really sleek and simple which is great:

It’s got a sloping side which surprisingly doesn’t restrict the amount of stuff you can squeeze into this puppy:

It’s got a hook, two smaller zipper compartments and one main zipper compartment on the flap. The mesh pouch in the main compartment uses velcro and can be removed (again, very thoughtful!). Three velcro mesh pockets in the front.

Filled this up with random cosmetics as I was emptying out some unnecessary items from my main train case for a shoot today. This really fits a ton of stuff and is excellent as a set bag as well!

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Photos from a Sunday shoot

Had the pleasure of doing hair and makeup for a shoot with Jeff, a talented (and extremely nice) photographer from Ikon Visuals.

Though Sundays aren’t my favourite days to be out working on a shoot, the team was a lovely bunch and the outcome was definitely worth it. (Another plus would be free parking on Sundays!)

Hair was curled without electricity and curling irons but the resulting volume was still pretty nice thanks to a ton of styling water and hairspray. Kudos to Jeff and the girls who trooped out onto the muddy grasslands in high heels for this!

Check out more photos here!

(Featured above are the lovely models Tanya and Rachael Alessandra Renovah.)

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Bringing out the fierce

Had the opportunity to do makeup and styling on a friend for a portfolio shoot recently and this was my favourite photo from the set:

To be able to turn up the fierce and mysterious factor on someone as sweet and lovely as her was just great!

To see more of my make up work, click here!

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It’s time to blush!

Went a bit manic the other day and got a new stash of blushers to add on to my current ones! Spot the odd one out:

Decided to colour my skin to match the wall decals in my dressing area. And of course, in case you would like a reference in terms of colour :)

With flash:

Just to note, the blushers are layered on pretty thick so the colour would be more obvious in the photos. All of them are sheer enough for light layers if you prefer.

While I’m loving all of them, FACE atelier facade in cha cha is definitely the one I’ll carry around with me on travels. It feels incredibly light, doesn’t require a brush (and I find it much more hygienic this way) and it gives a very nice natural flush!

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Deluxe beauty samples from Bellabox

I will confess – I am a sucker for samples, packaging and nice smells.

It’s been some time since I got a ton of free make up and beauty samples (for spending too much) from Sephora in the States and when I found out about Bellabox, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on awesome samples again!

Bellabox’s first ever October box came recently and receiving a nice box in the mail just made my day. :)

A closer look at the samples within:

(Left to right: Aveda Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener, Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid, OPI Avojuice Skin Quenchers in Ginger Lily, Oscar De La Renta Esprit D’Oscar, Twistband)

Now for a review of these babies… (click below to read more!)


I’ve always loved all things Aveda and the glossing straightener and smoothing fluid are no different. Aveda strives to increase their use of naturally derived ingredients and you can definitely tell by the unique natural fragrances of their products (which I really like). Hair always comes out feeling soft with shine.

The smoothing fluid feels a bit oily when working it in your hands at first but after smoothing it over hair, it does an excellent job of taming flyaways and giving shine while staying weightless and non-greasy. Definitely using this on my touch-ups on beauty shoots!

Will be testing the glossing straightener on someone else soon since my hair just got straightened…

OPI Avojuice in Ginger Lily

This is flat out amazing. I’m a heavy user of hand creams and Avojuice is incredibly light yet moisturising so it’s perfect for using multiple times daily when you’re out and about. Finally, a hand cream that doesn’t need you to wait several minutes before you can touch anything without greasing it!

The scent of Ginger Lily is my favourite part. I’ve always loved Sweet Pea and similar light, floral scents from Bath and Bodyworks and this is somewhat similar. I think I’ve pretty much gone insane and have used this every time after washing my hands! My rose L’occitane hand cream is now being relegated to night use only…

Esprit D’Oscar

While Esprit D’Oscar does smell quite nice with hints of citrus notes, the musk and tuberose elements are a teeny bit too strong for my liking. For the humidity and heat in this tiny island, I generally prefer sticking to lighter, fresher scents.

The actual bottle is beautiful in true Oscar style though!


These feel pretty stretchy although I have to grab a guinea pig with longer hair as mine is currently un-tie-able. Any volunteers…?

This month’s Bellabox made me discover my favourite hand cream and got me reacquainted with my love for Aveda so next month’s subscription is definitely a must. And at S$15 a month, how could you not!!

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Nail colour gets more exciting

As someone who often gets her nails damaged by many hours of stitching, hand work and being plain careless, I’ve generally stayed away from having my fingernails done to avoid the heartache of seeing them damaged within a day or two. (Okay, I know I should try gel soon…)

But after having come across these gorgeous nail polishes, how can anyone resist??

Deborah Lippman is one of the most sought-after manicurists in the world and her collection of nail lacquers are ah-mazing!

My favourite ones for now are ‘Across the Universe’ (left) and ‘I Love the Nightlife’ (right). It’s hard to find gorgeous layered textures in nail polish and I think this is it. 

For those in Singapore, you can get your hands on ‘Across the Universe’ and many other pretty colours at Luxola, a newly opened online luxury cosmetic and skin-care site! Alternatively, Kiss and Makeup in New York offers worldwide flat rate shipping and stocks these lovelies too. Enjoy! 

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Finally organising my make up!

I’ve to confess that I’m not exactly the most organised person and recently the amount of accumulated make up has really gotten to me! Things tend to get really messy doing hair, make up and styling for shoots so I guess I really can’t get away with having different things in many many different places.

Have been searching for a make up case for the longest time but nothing seemed to be perfect – the width and material of the inner tiers, the ability to contain heavy products but still be light enough overall, price, etc. Okay, nothing locally at least. If I were to buy this overseas I’d probably be paying more for shipping than for the case itself.

But today I was determined to find something and be content with it and guess it finally paid off! It’s filled to the brim with stuff but at least it’s organised :)

For those of you looking for make up cases in Singapore, these are some places you can try (sorry for the vague directions cos I didn’t take down the unit numbers!):

  • Far east plaza – quite a few accessories or nail shops have them, you just need to look on top of the shelves.
  • Bugis market – there’s a shop in the centre of the second floor which has a lot but the SA wasn’t the nicest when we went. There’s one on the third floor but only has about two types.
  • People’s Park Complex - this is on the third floor (turn right when you go up the escalators and walk to the end in the centre aisle).
  • People’s Park Centre – Affiliated to the shop at People’s Park Complex, this is called Ivy Cosmetics at #02-29. How do I know? Check out the sign that was on the former shop:

Didn’t mind being redirected a block or two for the day since finally I got what I needed!

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Behind the scenes of a shoot on Sunday!

Behind the scenes of a shoot on Sunday! Provided the gown and did hair and make up. :)
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