Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil has become almost indispensable for my family. I use it regularly in my day to day skincare. I took so long to review this item even though I have been using it for a long time, because it has become as common to me as brushing my teeth.

Here goes!

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil

-Can be used for almost anything requiring an antiseptic effect.
eg;  DIY Tea Tree Oil Multi Purpose Spray
-Excellent for drying up pimples and infections.
-A bottle lasts a long time, even with daily use.

-Bottle dropper can be a little unwieldy--product is a little difficult to dispense at first. But okay once you get used to it, so no biggie.

Now, there are many brands of tea tree oil on the market which I have tested, but I happen to like this one because it is easily available where I am, smells pleasant (to me) and it is 100% pure tea tree oil. A keeper in my daily routine!

Hope this review was useful! Comments welcome!

See you again soon, my beauties!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

DIY: Tea-Tree Oil Multi-Purpose Spray

I use tea tree oil for many things- wounds, zits, rashes, infections, etc. Recently, my family has been under attack by the flu virus, and a strange case of rashes caused by goodness knows what-- so, I thought it would be good to post this recipe up. (Not one of my usual beauty DIYs, I know, but I hope it's useful!)

Here it is!

Tea Tree Oil Multi-Purpose Spray

4 drops tea tree oil (I use Thursday Plantation's-review later)
1/2 cup of distilled (Bottled) or cool, boiled water
Spray bottle

Simply pour the water in the spray bottle, add the tea tree oil, shake well (before every use), and spray away!

Tea tree oil not only helps dry up acne and pimples, but also kills acne causing bacteria. (Tip: it is also great for keeping mosquitoes and bugs away)! Use this spray on your pillows (less acne causing bacteria=fewer zits!) and bedsheets, children's toys, or spray it on a piece of cloth and give your keyboard keys a good wipe. You can also use it as an air sanitizer-just a couple of spritzes freshens the air. Just be careful to keep it out of your eyes.

I like to spray in my family's footwear to keep our feet smelling fresh and free of infections. my boy likes it on his legs before he goes to bed, since the mosquitoes at my place have acquired a taste for the poor thing's blood. (It really works!)

I find new uses for this spray every day. My friend just told me the other day she uses a diluted version of this recipe as a toner- being careful to avoid the eyes.

I hope everyone finds this post useful, especially with the attack of the flu virus that seems to be everywhere.

See you soon, my pretties!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: Dermal Vitamin Collagen Essence Mask

Another one of my recent purchases. Without further ado, here is the review!

Dermal Vitamin Collagen Essence Mask


-Skin was left visibly more even, brighter and more luminous
-Brightening effect lasted throughout the next day
-Non irritating to skin


-Left a sticky after feel.
-Again, mask did not fit well as with the others in the same range.

The verdict? As with the others in the same range, great value for money. Although the effect, again, was not as pronounced as the Pearl Collagen Essence Mask,I would still repurchase it. It is a good basic brightening sheet mask,that is very economical at SGD$1 per sheet, that does its job. I would recommend it for those on a budget.

Stay beautiful, and see you again soon, my pretties!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review:Dermal Gold Collagen Essence Mask

Gold has been long touted as a beauty secret, and used in many high end beauty treatments. Now, you can experience it in the comfort of your own home,  for a fraction of the price.

Dermal Gold Collagen Essence Mask

Now, I do not expect gold particles on my SGD$1 purchase, of course. But does it work? Let The Belle give you her 2 cents worth.

-Skin is left well hydrated and fine lines around the eye, as well as dry lines at the jowl area were significantly reduced.
-Non irritating to skin.
-Non sticky, as compared to the  Dermal Pearl Collagen Essence Mask

-Brightening effect not as pronounced as the Dermal Pearl Collagen Essence Mask
-Fit was a problem, especially around the eye area. The eye flaps were uncomfortable and ended up looking like I had white eye bags while I was doing my mask. Similar to other masks in the range. (Or maybe it's just me.)

The verdict? It does assist in hydrating and reducing minor lines, but did not do much for brightening. Regular use should help with those who have a minor problem with fine, dry lines. Repurchase, however, is only a maybe for me, because I prefer my masks to have more of a brightening effect.

*The Belle is on the road to recovery, and is trying to resume normal operations . Please be patient with me!

See you again soon, my beauties!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weather-Worn Belle

The Belle is a little under the weather this couple of days, but promises to update soon. (As soon as my nose stops threatening to short circuit my laptop keys.)

Thank you for your patience! Meanwhile, do keep the comments/emails coming in!

See you soon!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: Dermal Pearl Collagen Essence Mask

My skin has been looking rather dull and tired lately, no thanks to my terrible sleeping habits.  Masking is a great solution, but can get rather costly if you have to do it often. So, I have been on the lookout for cheap, efficient masks. This is one of those that I found during my jaunts at the local Unity Pharmacy, which cost about SGD$1 each.

Dermal Pearl Collagen Essence Mask

To be honest, I was not expecting much from this mask since it was so cheap, but I was pleasantly surprised. Here's the verdict!


-Skin is left firm, even looking, and well hydrated.
-Brightening effect lasts well throughout the next day
-Mask is well soaked with essence, so plenty was left over to mask the neck (or if you are like me, to swipe over the arms and legs as well)
-Non irritating to skin
-Very inexpensive-need I say more?


-Left a sticky after feel that didn't go away (Tip: Use it before bed, so that the stickiness is gone by the time morning comes.)
-Mask sheet somehow took a lot of adjustments before I could get it just right. (But maybe it's just my OCD at work, trying to get rid of every single bubble..haha..)

This is a definite repurchase, when the stock I bought runs out. Cheap, good value for money, and definitely does what it promises. Good fix for those on a budget. The Belle has since purchased this in other variants, so look out for the reviews coming up, after I have sufficiently tested them.

See you soon, my beauties!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Review: Fair and Lovely Multivitamin Cream

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about trying this cream as it seemed too good to be true. A SGD$3.50 product that contains vitamins, and whitens to boot? However, I had heard good things about this product from my Indian friends, and so, I decided to take a closer look at the product.

Fair & Lovely Multivitamin Cream

On closer inspection, I realized that it was a product of Unilever. Confidence bolstered by the backing of the multinational giant, I bravely handed over my SGD$3.50 to the cashier.

This product is meant for the face, but I used this product on the horrible sandal tan lines on my feet that I got while running errands in Singapore's blazing tropical sun. (I have a tendency to forget about sunblock on my poor feet, so they are much darker than the rest of me) I was pleasantly surprised.

To give you a rough guide of how well the product works, I have included a picture of the Clear Fairness Meter, conveniently located on the side of the box.

The tan on my foot was roughly at 6 on the scale. With about 2 weeks of daily usage, it has lightened about 2 shades to 8 on the scale. Not bad for a budget product.

Here is the breakdown.

-Contains vitamin C,E, B3 and B6
-Left a smooth, powdery finish. (Depending on the type of finish you like, this can be good or bad.)
-Skin was left looking more even toned
-Really cheap, at SGD$3.50 for a 80G tube

-Tended to leave a white cast (due to the sunblock content, I presume)
-Not moisturizing enough for dry skin, so a separate moisturizer has to be used if you have thirsty skin.

Would I buy this product again? It's a maybe. Although it does work, having to use a separate moisturizer is extra work.  There are products that work just as well (like my Nivea body lotion) without the need for extra moisturizer. But it is a nice boost to your daily whitening care, especially to get rid of an unwanted tan.

Stay tuned for more reviews!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

DIY: Rose Tea Refresher

Cleopatra carpeted her floor in it for Mark Antony. King Nero showered his dinner guests in it. The queen of flowers, the rose is not only beautiful,but also great for our skin. Rosewater is a great cleanser, it also balances, soothes and gently hydrates sensitized skin. Its astringent effect also means it can be used as a toner. Here, a DIY recipe that will have you feeling good both inside and out.

Rose Tea Refresher

1 cup of boiling water,preferably distilled.
1 cup dried rosebuds

Pour boiling water over rosebuds that have previously been rinsed in cold water. Leave to cool. Pour into container and seal. Leave to steep overnight in the fridge. Strain and discard rosebuds. Store liquid in fridge and use as needed.  Use up within a week.

You can freeze the  liquid into ice cubes to add to your tea for a heavenly scented drink. Placing cotton pads soaked in the chilled rose tea will help relieve soreness,swelling and redness in eyes. Swipe a cotton pad soaked with it over your face, and use it as a toner, and see your complexion becoming clearer as the days go by. Spritz it on your face and body after your shower daily, and your skin will take on a lovely glow with consistent usage.

Stay tuned for reviews, coming up next! See you soon, my beauties!

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Note on DIY Recipes

The Belle loves making her own skincare, but also understands that our homemade skincare, unlike products on the shelf, do not contain preservatives. So, please do note that any DIY skincare recipes on this website, unless otherwise stated, need to be stored in the fridge. As a rule of thumb, make small amounts to ensure freshness, and use up the product within 10 days. If the product you made starts to smell odd, throw it out to be on the safe side.

Happy DIYing, see you soon!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

DIY: Vitamin E Green Tea Toner

I love green tea. Hot, cold, with honey, sugar, milk or just on its own. I usually have quite a fair amount of green tea at home. So, I did some research on the internet, and after tinkering around in the kitchen, came up with this toner recipe some time ago. Stored in the fridge, it is not only cool and refreshing, but also helps to keep those fine lines at bay. Enjoy!

Vitamin E Green Tea Toner


200ML of boiling water, preferably distilled
1 green teabag
1 tablespoon natural honey
3 Vitamin E capsules,400IU (Or you can use the equivalent in Vitamin E oil)

Pour boiling water over teabag, and allow to steep for about 10 minutes. Add in honey, and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool. Break open vitamin E capsules and add in the oil. Mix well. Store in an (preferably)airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator, and shake well before each use. (This is essential to ensure proper distribution of the vitamin E oil.)

This toner is suitable for most skin types, but dry skins will probably like this toner most-honey, a humectant and the vitamin E oil will help with dryness. And, need we say more about the antioxidant properties of green tea and vitamin E? Swipe it on with a cotton ball, or spritz in on with a spray bottle and pat it in before your other skincare products. Consistent usage will help reduce fine lines. As with all skincare products, always test on a small area, particularly if you have sensitive skin.

That's all for this post.  I will be back soon with more goodies. See you soon, my pretties!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Diet Pills-Miracle Cure, or Evil?

As the title suggests, this post is about diet pills. I felt compelled to write this, as I saw some of my nearest and dearest struggle with weight and health issues.

To set the record straight, I am neither condoning, nor encouraging anyone to take such pills. I only hope that those who are taking the pills, after reading this, will make an informed choice.

The most common diet pills are basically divided into three types. The first will be the appetite suppressant. Second will be the fat burner, followed by the fat/carbo/starch blocker. Of course, there are those that are a combination of two or more of the above, but for simplicity's sake, let us just focus on the three.

Thee appetite suppressant works by blocking hunger signals to the brain. Sounds good, right? Less hunger means less food eaten, resulting in weight loss. But what happens when you stop taking them? You go back to your old eating habits. (Let's face it: Would you be taking this pill if you had the discipline to manage your cravings in the first place?) And the foe-your weight- comes piling back on, with a vengeance.

How about the fat burner then? It burns fat, so it will help you to get rid of those pesky bulges on your body... right? Well, yes and no. Unfortunately, there is no firm scientific evidence to back up claims of targeted fat burning, and our body fat comes off the way it came in: Last in, first out. So, rather than shaving inches off your middle, you could very well be losing them from where you dread the most.

The fat/carbo/starch blocker does seem like an ideal solution. It blocks the baddies that are preventing you from attaining that perfect figure, and you can eat what you want.  But, unfortunately, they also block the absorption of many fat soluble vitamins which, ironically, help your body rev up its metabolism for weight loss.

Ultimately, none of these are long term solutions for weight management.  A more realistic solution would be to look into a gradual, sustainable lifestyle change that will help with losing and keeping the weight off. Definitely, these pills can be used as a kick start for those who need a little more help, and the cons of taking the pills are outweighed by health problems. In such cases, it would be a good idea to rope in your family doctor, or a dietician to discuss what is needed.

Take care, and stay beautiful, my pretties!

**Reviews and DIY goodies coming up soon!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Testing and Cooking in Progress!

The Belle is in the process of testing some new products!

Look out for product reviews that are coming up soon! Also, new DIY recipes easy on the wallet and good for you.

Meanwhile,please do keep the comments and emails coming in!

See you soon!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Age of Beauty: The Belle's Two Cents Worth

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"

I was reminded of this phrase not from Snow White, but from a movie which I watched recently, Helter Skelter. In the movie, the protagonist, Lilico was transformed from a plain Jane into a stunning beauty through plastic surgery. Fame and fortune were hers. However, things started spiraling downwards when someone new came in to replace her, and the side effects of plastic surgery started setting in. Mental turmoil saw Lilico becoming unstable, torturing those close to her to give vent to her frustration.

There are few who can honestly say that they do not covet beauty and youth. But how far should we go? Jars and bottles of the latest miracle potion, needles, and going under the knife- with modern technology, almost anything is possible. To say that external beauty goes away with age will soon become a thing of the past. Do we want to spend time and energy pursuing the miracle of youth, or appreciate what we have been blessed with? You decide.

Only when we are able to look past the superficial beauty of youth, can we truly begin to appreciate beauty.

**This is not meant to speak for or against plastic surgery. I am discussing what women do for youth and beauty. I am no saint, either, and I hope to preserve my youth as much as the next girl. I only hope to encourage you to not be obsessed with the beauty of youth, but in other forms as well. Now go slather on that anti aging cream.

See you again soon, my beauties!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Age of Beauty:Elixir(s) of Youth [2]- The New Kids on The Block

Don't we all love new skin care ingredients? They give us hope that the tomorrow of our skin can be better. Here, the Belle will break down some new ingredients, and what they do.

Growth Factors

These are proteins and hormones that pass the message to cells to build new collagen as well as blood vessels.


Protein enzymes that repair cell damage, and so far, the only ingredients known to make cells live longer in the lab. Studies have not been conclusive, but they may help to increase the rate of collagen production.


Some forms of peptides are known to shrink eye bags (goodness knows how much the Belle needs this) by improving lymphatic circulation, others improve the appearance of wrinkles by relaxing muscles that cause wrinkles. Others increase collagen production to make your skin firm.


Signals to cells to 'behave' younger. Elastin and collagen production is increased, and enzymes that break down collagen are diminished.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

Free radicals have nowhere to hide with this anti oxidant. It is also both fat and water soluble- meaning, it can work both inside the cell as well as the cell membrane to achieve the effect of anti aging.


An antioxidant that is extracted from apples. When it is combined with Vitamin C and ferulic acid, it nips the problem of brown spots and wrinkles right in the bud- before they even start. Pretty cool, I say.


Simply, a long lasting synthetic form of hyaluronic acid. It not only holds up to 1000 times its volume in water, but also helps in the production of collagen, by increasing cell to cell communication.

Now, the list is, of course not conclusive. New skincare ingredients come up everyday.  Do note that the Belle has not tried these ingredients in her skincare yet, so do take heed and proceed with caution.

Conclusion to the series on antiaging next. Do come back soon! Comments welcome!