Saturday, 29 September 2012

Lazy weekend: Talking about hairclips..

I just realised that it's been a while since I blogged... I blame it on having too much to do & too little time (plus the fact that all the things I did were really mundane daily stuff, huhu)..

So...as I was sharing a sofa with my sis in my parents' lounge, fiddling with my hairclip, it hit me that they don't make hair accessories like they once did. Take mine for instance....it's been in my collection for about 10 years! I can't deny that a stone has fallen off over the years BUT consider that it didn't cost me more than RM13 ;)

 

These days when I walk into Sinma or Chamelon, I'm dissapointed at not finding a pretty clip like in the past...and it kills me to have to pay RM20-30 for it, nooo...! You could find more accessories in higher end stores but of course the price would be higher.

So, sadly, my poor clips haven't been replaced in years...huhu... If any of you out there know of a good hairclip store in KL or online, pleaseee share... huhu.. Thanks!! Til next time... ;)

My fave hair clip... and my dad made a cameo appearance, lol!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Healthy Diet for Acne Treatment...

Well, we all know I'm slightly obsessed about my skin these days (damn that Vanilla Soufle Scrub!)... 

Last week a friend of mine introduced me to YouTube sensation Cassandra Bankson,  an inspiring young person who vlogs and does makeup tutorials on how to cover up acne, besides giving really useful info. You can Google her name, she's all over the web! 

As I was video-hopping her YouTube channel that night, I came across a video where she mentioned the relationship between diet and healthy skin. Being the studious person that I am *ahem*, it made me do some research on what food IS good for the skin.

There were lots and lots of websites and answers. This is a very short summary of my research; the nutrients which you should take to help with your acne/for healthy skin:
  • Chromium
  • Green tea
  • Omega-3
  • Milk Thistle
  • Selenium
  • Tomatoes and cucumbers
  • Vitamin A, C and E
  • Vitamin B complex 
  • Zinc
I'll list down the good sources I found at the end of this post so you can read it in detail if you wish. Perhaps when it's not 3am, I could put it all together in a more comprehensive post ;)

Well, you may be wondering wth is the point of telling me what nutrients i need without telling me where I can get it from? Aha! That's where the second part of my research comes in...

I took a walk to a nearby pharmacy and checked out all their multi-vit selection. Granted, there may have been more choices if I had gone to a bigger store but it's ok.. there's always Google and the internet for Plan B, lol.

This is not for advertising purposes but I'm still a bit wary of naming brands -_-" Please bear in mind that these are only supplements and cannot replace prescribed medication

1. A friend of mine says that Surbex Zinc is good for the skin. 
    Content: Vit B Complex, Zinc 15mg, Folic acid 400mcg, Vit C 750mg, Vit E

2. Blackmores Teen Multi for Girls. Yes, I do realise that I'm so not a teen anymore but the contents were good! This supplement contains all that I listed above. I have no idea if it's effective or not, but I'm giving it a shot since I doubt my daily diet is providing me with all the goodies my body needs (no fruit, minimal veg, lots of fast food... you bad, bad girl!)


3. Blackmores Women's Vitality. This is probably the adult version of the Teen Multi with the addition of Milk Thistle (for liver detox) but it's not available in Malaysia, unfortunately. 

4. Blackmores Bio Zinc was suggested by their naturopath as a good source of Vit A and Zinc (of all the products I've come across recently, I think this has the highest Zinc & Vit A content).


Zinc (from Zinc amino acid chelate) 14.9 mg
Magnesium phosphate 90 mg
Manganese (from Manganese amino acid chelate) 2 mg
Vitamin A2500 IU
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine hydrochloride)50 mg


Something a naturopath told me:
"Acne can be associated with hormonal imbalance and aggravated by ineffective elimination from the body, which may be related to a build up of toxins in the system due to an inability of the liver to effectively break down circulatory toxins. It can also be initiated by food sensitivities, poor diet and stress."
This takes me to...

5. Milk Thistle. From my searches today, it would appear that Milk Thistle is a good supplement for detox of the liver. In short, when your liver function is not up to par, it's unable to completely remove all the toxins from your body which would then cause some of these toxins to be eliminated through the skin. By improving liver function, these toxins wouldn't have to be removed from the body through the skin which would reduce skin irritation, etc. Some forums/blogs say that it's good for eczema too so I think I'm gonna get some tomorrow :D 

You should also eat a diet of low glycaemic index food. Basically, 
  • high glycaemic index = food which quickly releases a lot of sugar/glucose when broken down (i.e. white bread, refined rice) 

vs 

  • low glycaemic index = food which break down and release small amounts of sugar but over a longer period of time 
At least, that's what I can remember from my A-Level days, lol. Here's the linky: http://www.glycemicindex.com


Think low in simple carbohydrates, higher in protein.

There may be other products or diet good for the skin which I didn't get to look at... I'm merely sharing the results of my quick 'research' on that, hoping that perhaps it'll make your search a bit easier. Please do share if you've found out anything interesting... arigato! :)

Way past time for me to hit the sack...
Love & hugs,
nad xoxo~

Useful links:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Thinking of buying an apartment...



I know, it's rather sudden isn't it?

Add to that, my bank balance hasn't actually been smiling at me recently...errkkk.. Soooo, you (and I) may wonder what i'm doing entertaining thoughts like that.

It's not really unthinkable....honestly! I have a plan..well, I will anyway :P

You see, several of my friends have been discussing property investment which I find rather eye-opening. However, my real motivation is the fact that i'm already renting a condo with my sis and we're paying a pretty penny each month, plus there's always the risk that we'll have to move out when the tenancy terminates or the landlady wants the unit back.

Wouldn't it make more sense to be forking out that kinda money monthly and actually own the house in the end? I'm loving the idea of living in my own place, with the freedom to decorate it as I wish. *sigh* What a lovely image!

Right. I now have about 10 months to figure this out. Hmm... This calls for more serious planning. And possibly a discussion with some experienced friends ;)

Night all! xoxo

***Update: Perhaps buying our apartment/condo isn't going to happen anytime soon, huhu... it's simply too expensive! Darn these hiking property prices in KL  -_-" Nevertheless, I'm still considering this property investment idea... Who knows? Maybe I'll win the lottery...or marry a billionaire. Lol!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 review/test

Hey everybody!

Well, i bought myself a new webcam back in February & couldn't wait to try it out lol.

It's the new Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, and I absolutely love it! I wouldn't consider this to be a proper review, but the video below should give you an idea of the recording quality when using this Logitech :)




I think it's an excellent webcam, but that's just me, lol! Hope this helps...

Oh, you should check out this review too (it's in Russian tho).. it's really good & informative, helped me to realize what else my webcam could do. And altho' I didn't understand a single word, it was very visual so I could guess what they were talking about :)





Screen recording 

Someone asked me what it would look like if I used my webcam to record my LCD monitor. So, I turned the camera facing my screen, hit record and ta da! Here's what it looks like:


And one more thing, 


Sound

If you use the webcam's built-in microphone to record sound, by all means, please un-check the RightSound setting. If you have the RightSound on, you'll sound like i did at the end of my review video. Audio is a gazillion times better with the RightSound OFF, like in this video blog of mine below...



Photo challenge- Logitech vs Samsung Galaxy S.

I took some photos using the 2 cameras and uploaded the images to Photobucket.. please check it out here:












---------------------

Specifications from Website... there seem to be a number of small print so do check it out if it concerns you :)


Technical Specifications:

- Full HD 1080p video calling (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels) with the latest version of Skype for  Windows*
- 720p HD video calling (up to 1280 x 720 pixels) with supported clients
- Full HD video recording (up to 1920 x 1080 pixels) with a recommended system**
- Logitech Fluid Crystal™ Technology
- H.264 video compression*
- Carl Zeiss® lens with 20-step autofocus
- Built-in dual stereo mics with automatic noise reduction
- Automatic low-light correction
- Hi-Speed USB 2.0 certified (USB 3.0 ready)
- Tripod-ready universal clip fits laptops, LCD or CRT monitors


Logitech webcam software:***

- Video recording: Up to Full HD 1080p video capture**
- Photo capture: Up to 15 megapixels (software enhanced)
- 1-click Facebook®, Twitter™ and YouTube™ HD upload (registration required)


Optional bundled software:

- Logitech Vid™ HD****


*Please download the latest version of Skype, Skype 5.7 Beta for Windows, which offers 1080p HD video calling.
** H.264 recording requires installation of QuickTime®.
*** Requires installation of included software.
**** Logitech Vid HD only supports HD 720p video calling in MJPEG mode.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Talking much, about nothing in particular...

Dear Diary...

Wait, hang on a minute.. I have a feeling I'm a little old for the conventional "dear diary" ;) 

It's Saturday and I'm tired of being sick and tired 
(thank you Anastacia for singing a line that I can totally relate to), 

so...

seeing as there wasn't much heart in my singing today, I did a vlog instead.

I didn't see much point in wasting all that effort I put into setting up my webcam and looking presentable, haha 




Have a great Saturday all! Be good ♥

Love & hugs,
nad xoxo~

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Watching "The Watch" 2012...a lil movie review


Yesterday my sister and I decided we were going to have some down time.. you know, just chillin' together watching a funny movie which doesn't require much brainpower.


On a bit of an impulse, we hit GSC MidValley and caught the 7.30pm screening of The Watch staring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill to name a few. My sis asked me to look at the trailer before we left the house and I reluctantly agreed to check it out. I'm not much of a movie person, give me a kdrama or a kung fu drama  any day ;) So, here's what i found...



Looked pretty stupid but kinda funny. If my sis wants to watch it coz Ben Stiller is there, I'm cool with that....


After sitting in the theatre for nearly 2 hours, I can safely give it

     a) 2 thumbs up for absolutely NIL brainpower required
     b) thumbs down as far as plot..and everything else was concerned.


We did have some laughs but it was not what I expected at all. In fact, I'm still surprised that they aired that in Malaysian cinemas! I'm so glad we didn't make it a "family movie night" show coz I have a feeling my dad might walk out of the theatre.. -_-"



Spoiler Alert!!



This movie is supposed to be a comedy about a group of guys in the newly formed Neighbourhood Watch. They're supposed to be helping the cops solve a murder but the cops don't take them seriously, the residents think they're a joke, and 3 out of 4 members of the Watch were there for the wrong reasons. Oh yeah, and the culprits were aliens preparing for Earth invasion. What the??



First off, there were a lot of distasteful jokes, some veering on the vulgar side and some parts of the movie simply plain disgusting. I mean, seriously, the alien only dies if you attack it in it's male private parts because that's where it's brain is situated? *rolls eyes*



There was a lot of swearing too... which I don't mind but I kept worrying that someone else might get offended. A lil heads up on that would have been nice, perhaps instead of just "for 18 years and above", they should have added something along the lines of "Curse words and dirty jokes ahead. Do not watch if you are easily offended".



If I had to liken it to another movie, I'd say think of American Pie.. only worse, huhu...



It's slightly disappointing because they had a great cast, and the effects were pretty decent too (I keep thinking about the scene where Evan and Jamarcus were very steadily and coolly shooting at all the hundreds of aliens attacking them, taking out new guns to replace those which ran out of bullets.. zwooossshhh... they looked great there!).



I quite agree with the Guardian's review

"You can source the finest ingredients. You can spend a fortune on top-notch pots. But if the chef's inept, or your timing is off, or you're just not cooking with gas, even the best recipe can turn sour. Such is the case with this ensemble comedy about a small-town Ohio neighbourhood watch team who find themselves battling hostile aliens. It's got a cast to kill for, a Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg script (they wrote Superbad) and a promisingly Ghostbusters-ish premise. And yet it's catastrophic. In fact, it's actively upsetting...."  
My suggestion? Save yourselves $10 and watch a different movie... unless you like brainless dirty comedy that is ;)


nad xoxo~

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Quest for the Perfect Cleanser...

Hello people...!

Well, i'm currently sitting on my luggage, waiting for my train to arrive...not an easy wait, huhu.. So, i decided to be productive and write this.

I don't know about you, but i have an extremely (and i mean Extremely) hard time trying to get skincare products which agree with my skin. One wrong product and i could end up with scaly dragon skin!

Actually, i had discovered the Perfect Cleanser... It's the Eucerin Re-balance Soothing Cleansing Cream. It really cleans your skin yet leaving it silky smooth...no squeaky tightness or tingling sensation.. For the 8 months that i used it, my skin was fabulous! Yes, i did have a zit or two from time to time, but I didn't have to worry about facials, extractions, a-gazillion-product-cleansing-regime...and my skin was still great.

Note the use of the word "was"... *sigh*

I went in search of a new bottle of Re-balance to replace my empty 2nd bottle and horror of horrors- it's been discontinued! What??! How could Eucerin do this to me? And no alternative product either! Damn.
Hence, my quest begins...
Let me start out by saying that i have combination hypersensitive skin (yeah, figure this out: dehydrated skin yet oily surface...apparently I'm overcompensating...huhu). 

So, first step...

I went back to my gentle Cetaphil cleanser. It doesn't foam, and it's okay..it just didn't do anything for my skin tho', not improving it nor making it worse. I guess you could say that i didn't feel that my skin was clean enough.

Not long after that, i received a bottle of Eucerin Dermatoclean Gel Cleanser to try. I think it was a fairly new product back in March- April 2012 so they wanted to get some feedback about it (plus, i did call and ask them about the previous Re-balance, bla bla bla). It started off alright...my skin felt clean after using it, although i was a bit concerned about the clear foaming gel being a bit drying. After 1-2 weeks’ use, i stopped. i was right, it was too drying. My skin was a bit itchy and started to peel a bit on my forehead.

On to the next one....

As i trusted the Eucerin brand, i decided to buy a bottle of Eucerin Dermatclean Cleansing Milk. Yeah, it's milky, it should be more moisurizing and better for my skin right? Wrong! Firstly, it's such a bother to have to always use cotton pads. And then, it leaves a residue on your skin and therefore, i must use it with a toner. Buy again.


After using it for a few weeks, perhaps a month, my skin wasn't getting that clean feeling. It still looked smooth, but i could feel some grittiness - not a very comfortable state to be in...

Oh well, i walked around Guardian (a drugstore) and someone promoted a scrub; My Beauty Diaries Vanilla Soufflé foam scrub. I tested it on the back of my hand and it seemed pretty good...very fine beads in the bubbly foam for gentle exfoliation. I thought, okay, this might be what I need.
Boy was I wrong. The stupid thing, which was not cheap by the way, made me have an allergic reaction. I mean, my almost clear skin had a full blown breakout all over! ALL over! Not only that, my skin was red, itchy, and slightly inflamed with lots and lot and LOTS of tiny little bumps which look like spots.  Noooooooo!!!!!

I was depressed and frustrated, and it was taking a long time to heal. I went back to Cetaphil, I tried Oilatum (which looked good for a while but I’m not sure if it made a few more bumps appear…it was a bit drying for me too).



Whatever.



I was at the point of giving up when I looked at my bathroom counter and saw small bottle of Estee Lauder Soft Clean Moisture Rich foaming cleanser which I got as part of a set. It’s been there for a while, never used on my face as it has quite a strong fragrance and when I tested it on my hand, it felt drying. However, at that point where my skin was terrible, I felt I might as well give it a shot. If it’s bad, what’s a few extra spots right?


Turns out, that was probably one of the best things I tried!

It really helped my skin. I wouldn’t say it’s the best one for me, but it was pretty damn good.. and without a doubt, the best of the lot. Surprisingly, it didn’t dry my skin at all. The fragrance didn’t break me out altho’ I still get a few spots here and there.. my skin felt cleaner, my spots were lessening/ drying up without flaking and well, it was improving…slowly.. lol. I know, I know, I must have patience. Sigh.

I had almost run out of the Soft Clean cleanser, and so I thought to try the Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean foaming cleanser (which was part of the Hydrationist set I bought earlier this year). As the name suggests, it really made my skin clean… too clean! The good: my spots were really reduced. The bad: it was too drying, making the face feel tight/taut. I don’t know if it’s just me or if it was really true, but I thought my skin was over-compensating the dryness by producing more oil.

Ooohhh the shine! Noooo….! After about 4 washes, I ditched the blue Perfectly Clean foaming cleanser and went back to the pink Soft Clean.

Somehow, I was persuaded to try the Estee Lauder Nutritious 2-in-1 foaming cleanser which also doubles up as a deep cleansing mask. I have a tiny sample jar of it and have used it for hmm, let me think… 6 days. Lol. This time, I did my research before trying it out. I saw very good reviews which gave me the courage to try it.



Right. I took the jar, spread a thin layer of Nutritious all over my face and neck and left it for exactly 5 mins. I’ve never been punctual, but I was determined to follow instructions this time ;)

Back in the bathroom, I added water to the mask which promptly turned it into a very very VERY foamy cleanser. That wasn’t all, as it was being rinsed off, the skin of my hands and face started to feel a bit weird. I don’t know how to describe it, but honest to God, it squeaked. Literally. There was so much friction between my hands and my face that I almost couldn’t rub them together. Oh man…wth?? Anyhow, I got in the shower and rinsed it with tons of water to make sure it was all washed off. Used a tissue to pat it dry and rushed to the mirror, wondering what had happened.

Mirror mirror on the wall, did I make a misstep once more?

Obviously the mirror thought it would be a waste of time to answer my question and remained silent. Humph.

Well, the Me in the mirror looked fine – no blotchiness, no itching, so inflammation…and amazingly, the skin didn’t feel tight nor dry. In fact, my face looked brighter and a bit matt. It definitely felt super clean! I dabbed on my usual toner, serum and a generous amount of moisturizer, and then picked up the hairdryer to dry my hair before going to bed.

From across the room, I glanced at the mirror and panicked. Oh God, are my cheeks red??? Hairdryer off. Mirror, close up please. Okay phew, not red. I have no idea what’s going on but I’m sure that something is happening to my skin. Good or bad, I’m not yet certain. Nevermind, let’s sleep on it.

Next morning…

Hmm, skin looks ok. Nothing weird happened, aside from the fact that it wasn’t as oily as usual. Perhaps this cleanser might work for me after all. Let’s try it a while longer… 

Six days on, and I’m still using the Nutritious cleanser. I consulted (yes, I use the word consulted, lol)… I consulted my Estee Lauder facial therapist about the Nutritious cleanser and she seems to think it may be too drying on my skin for the cleanser to be used twice daily, and to alternate it with a lotion cleanser.

*quick update: more than a year later and I'm still using my Nutritious cleanser.. turns out, it's the best cleanser ever! my sister and mum have both started using it too. Review coming up sometime soon :)

Well bugger that. Add on a new product to my 3-feet long Estee Lauder wish list, why don’t you, huhu. Item #1096, the Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Light Lotion Cleanser.

Who am I kidding? I went and got the cleanser today. First thing’s first, I need to improve my skin condition. Not because I’m vain (well, I am a teeny tiny bit vain but who isn’t?), it’s because having blemishes affects my self-confidence. Yes, I’m a believer of beauty coming from within and is in the eye of the beholder, yada yada, BUT I find myself less confident when I don’t feel pretty and right now I’m not exactly feeling pretty, erk.

Anywho… back to my main topic. Yes, I got the Lotion Cleanser today and I’m just about to use it. It would be a bit too early for me to say if it works or not tonight, so I will update this blog in a few days’ time and let you know how it goes…

*update: I used the Lotion cleanser for a while, maybe a couple of months but I decided to stop. Altho' it's a great cleanser - I can feel my skin is clean but without any tightness, but unfortunately, it doesn't really agree with my skin (i'd get a big zit every so often.. and no, it wasn't hormonal) so it has to go. Such a shame.

For all you lucky people out there who never have skin problems, never have to worry about sensitivity issues, can put just about anything on your face and still be zit-free, be very grateful for you are truly blessed. For all of you who have found your perfect cleansers, I’m really happy for you… resist the temptation to try anything new and unnecessary. For all you companies who have developed a great product, for heaven’s sake don’t discontinue it and cause misery for the rest of us! And last but not least, I pray that all of you who are on a similar quest as I am will find The One.. and soon ;)

Love & hugs,
xoxo