Thursday, December 30, 2010

Collective Haul: Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 3 and Sephora F&F Sale

I finally got a camera working!

Was really excited about this haul. I had asked a friend to help me get these stuff while she was over there in the US(Thank you angel :) ). I was really worried about Urban Decay's Book of Shadows 3 being sold out in Singapore so I got it online. Turns out Naked Palette was the one that kept running out of stock. Also picked up a few more items from the Sephora Friends & Family Sale 2010, where there's 20% off.

I got Benefit's Some Beauty to Love set. It's limited edition and a Sephora-exclusive. It comes in a neat purse-shaped cardboard box (which I love) and contains a full sized CORALista cheek powder, a full-sized Eye Bright instant eye brightener, a sample sized "That Gal" brightening face primer and a sample sized BADgal Lash Mascara.

The set costs USD $29. That's about the price of a full-sized Benefit's CORALista. And considering there's a 20% discount off, it's super worth it.

I also picked up 3 Stila Travel Girl Palettes. These cost USD$10 each.
Left to Right: Road to Radiance across the USA, Pretty in Paris, Trendsetting in Tokyo

Stila Travel Palette - Road to Radiance across the USA

Stila Travel Palette - Pretty in Paris

Stila Travel Palette - Trendsetting in Tokyo

I haven't really tried these yet so I can't review how great these are. They are really small and compact. Comes with a mirror inside and has a magnetic lid even though the packaging is made from thick cardboard. I've only tried the hot pink blush in Trendsetting in Tokyo and surprisingly, it's so wearable. Even though hot pink blush usually clashes with my yellow skin, I can actually wear it by just applying a very sheer layer to give my face some colour. It doesn't really contrast that much. Definitely give it a try if you are thinking of trying and face the same problem as me.

And finally, here's my Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 3.

If you are wondering about the colours in the palette, you can go to my previous entry to look at it. I wish I could snap a clearer picture of it. The palette is super gorgeous. That's why I didn't have time to play with the other items I bought. :P If you like jewel-toned greens, blues, plums and purples, this Urban Decay palette is so perfect. There's a couple of shades like Midnight Cowboy Rides Again and Maui Wowie that has crazy glitter fallouts, which I'm not a fan of. But it's ok. I think I've found a way to solve the crazy fallout problem. And I love the 2 Travel-sized 24/7 Glide-on pencils in Zero and Ransom in it too!! They are just incredibly smooth to use. I know this palette comes with LED lights and some fanciful pop-up design but I don't really care about that. :P

Overall, I'm super pleased with my haul. I did spend quite a bit but these had been stuff that I've been wanting to get for a long while. The Sephora haul was a bonus so I'm really thrilled I got them at a good deal.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ginger Tea

The weather has been turning really cold so I thought I'll share a beverage drink for cold weather. Ginger tea is one of my favourite drinks because I'm really scared of the cold. It keeps me really warm for a long time after drinking it. I also take it when I'm having bad menstrual cramps. According to TCM, it's the "cold" in the womb that causes the menses to be less smooth and painful.  Ginger tea helps to ease the pain since it dispels all the "cold" from the body. Trust me, it's super effective for cramps.

It’s the very fiery characteristic of the ginger root that gives it much of its medicinal properties, both in its dried as well as raw form. The dried ginger root is a thermogenic, expectorant, laxative, appetizer, stimulant, as well as an effective cure for stomach disorders. Hence, the dried ginger root is ground and used to cure a whole range of ailments like coughs, colds, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, inflammations of the joints, flatulence, motion sickness, colic, cholera, asthma, headaches, and even anorexia. Raw ginger is also a thermogenic, and is also an anti-flatulent, digestive, appetizer, and a laxative.

Ginger is also used extensively in aromatherapy. An essential oil is extracted from steam distilling the unpeeled, dried and ground ginger root. Ginger oil is used by combining it with the oils of cedar wood, sandalwood, and patchouli, which renders a spicy and woody scent to the mix.

The active ingredients in ginger oil are oleoresin and terpenes, which are responsible for its lymph cleansing, antiseptic, mild constipation relief, and circulation-stimulating qualities. According to research, it has been shown that ginger reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the liver and blood, thereby lowering blood cholesterol. It has also been found that ginger blocks the effects of prostaglandin, which is a substance that is responsible for the inflammation of the blood vessels inside the brain, which is what causes migraine.

Ginger’s property of being a digestive aid is largely due to the shogoals and gingerols that it contains. These help to neutralize the acids in the stomach, stimulate the secretion of digestive juices, and tone the digestive tract’s muscles.

Ginger tea has been used as a remedy against flu and colds for centuries, both in India and China, as well as other countries in the east. According to Chinese culture, its powerful yang energy is what warms the lungs and stomach. Ginger tea has been used in China for 2,500 years to treat sore throat, nasal congestion, and sinus pain.

It's very easy to make ginger tea.

Homemade Ginger Tea: All you need is a piece of ginger and some water. Peel the skin off and cut into several ginger slices. Put it in a pot of water and start boiling for about 15 minutes. Then pour it out and serve. You can add honey or some lemon juice to make it taste better. If it's not 'spicy' enough for you, you can add more ginger to your liking.

Ready-Made Ginger Tea: If you don't have the time to make ginger tea, you can consider ginger marmalade instead.

I've tried this Korean Daedong Ginger Marmalade and you can make ginger tea out of it. It's made from raw ginger so you get real ginger bits in it too. All you have to do is just to get a scoop (or two) out of it and add to hot water. Then stir well. Some might prefer the taste of it compared to homemade ginger tea. For me, I don't really like it. But my Mum does.

Alternatively, you can find Instant Ginger Tea in sachets or tea bags form. I can't really find a picture of the brand I'm taking. I've been taking instant Ginger Tea in sachets for years and it works well for me. Until recently I've gotten around to make homemade Ginger Tea that I realise the real stuff is so strong and even more effective.

Generally, I'll recommend taking just one cup of it to keep warm. You can drink more later when it feels cold later. I don't recommend drinking lots at one shot. It can make you over heaty and you'll start to feel feverish.

I hope this entry helps.

Stay warm. :)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Urban Decay Spring 2011 Sneak Preview

All Photos provided by Urban Decay.

Urban Decay 15-Year Anniversary 24/7 Pencil Set

From left to right: Perversion, Corrupt, Bourbon, Midnight Cowboy, Baked, Stash, Mildew,  Electric, Stray Dog, Binge, Ransom, Asphyxia, Rockstar, Zero, Uzi

24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Midnight Cowboy (New)

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils (NEW)

From left to right: Clash, Lit, Barracuda, Sin, Morphine, Midnight Cowboy, Clinic, Narc, ,Wasteland, Rehab,  Delinquent

From left to right: Sin, Delinquent, Barracuda

From left to right: Lit, Narc, Rehab, Wasteland, Clash