Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Quick Review/First Impressions: Crabtree & Evelyn Somerset Meadow Eau de Toilette

Somerset Meadow, 60ml for S$58 at C&E outlets, Singapore
Hello hello!
Today's gonna be a quick review/ first impressions of Crabtree & Evelyn's latest perfume offering - Somerset Meadow eau de toilette.

I received a 0.5ml sample vial from C&E's Takashimaya outlet. On a side note, the store person wasn't very friendly. She demanded if I were a member as, according to the way she put it, it's for members-only. This is a total contradiction to what is said on Crabtree & Evelyn's Facebook page - it's a freebie sample for C&E's fb fans. Good grief, I absolutely abhor snobby salespeople AND company miscommunications.

Back to the sample itself!
Anywho, as it is not stated what the notes are in this perfume, I'll just have list them based on what I think they smell like.

When first applied, Somerset Meadow opens with a juicy, sour burst of fruits. Freshly cut sweet, tender pears alongside ripe blackcurrants are what my nose detect. The burst of fruitiness is bolstered by a background of green and white florals and a subtle dash of sandalwood.

The fruitness of the eau de toilette lingers for a good 5-10 minutes before being subdued by the emerging white florals and green notes. It reminds me of cute little white wildflowers amidst a brilliant bed of healthy green grass. The smell of sandalwood is more pronounced now, with its incense-like scent and hints of bitterness. Overall, the smell is still fresh and green. The interplay between sandalwood, white florals and green notes gives the impression of me lying amongst these flowers and grass, inhaling both their smells and the scent of the soil.

A definite light, airy scent. You can almost see pixies frolicking in the flora and fauna beside you.

Somerset Meadow has a soft silage and a longevity of 3-4 hours. I like it, but it's not as special as the older offerings from Crabtree & Evelyn, such as their Evelyn Rose (prior to the hideous 2012 reformulation), Nantucket Briar (gorgeous, seaside-y scent) and Summer Hill (flower power on a hill!).

Well, I hope this first impressions/quick review of C&E's Somerset Meadow EDT was helpful! :D

Have you tried this fragrance? Will you try it? Let me know!

Lots of love

That Whimsical Blogger!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

{{In-Depth Skincare Review}}: Hazeline Snow Moisturising Cream

Hazeline Snow Moisturising Cream (50g)
S$2.20/50g and $3.50/100g (depending on where you get it)
For generations, Singaporean women have swore by this beauty product.

Your mother, your aunt or your grandmother could have seen this as the holy grail product back in the old days.

It is affordable ("dirt cheap" even by today's standards) and does a pretty good job of keeping the ladies pretty.

But behold, the twenty first century ushered in an era where advertisements blare at every street corner. Poor Hazeline has become muted, swallowed up by the sea of latest skincare products that are endorsed by celebrities. Many youths see Hazeline Snow derisively - it's so cheap, how can it be good? 

Yet, Hazeline Snow's continued presence shows how popular it is. Recently, when rumours abound that Hazeline Snow was about to be discontinued, news reported that stocks flew off the shelves. People who knew how good this product was were hoarding this!

Comes with an inner tab to prevent the cream from drying up

The product itself is just like what its name suggest - it resembles snow. Crumbly, white and cooling is what this cream is. It seems like cold chalky solids when you first dig it out of the bottle. 

In fact, as a child I'd grab that bottle lying around and stick my fingers into it due to my fascination with the texture. Also, I wanted to sniff the rosy, powdery scent of the product. 

Well, needless to say it became more like a child's toy than for my mother to slather it on. 

Zeh texture!

I've been using the more expensive creams/gels/lotions but recently I got my hands on Hazeline Snow just for fun and also to see what the raves are all about. Boy, am I glad I did it.

Hazeline Snow is great as it mattifies and provides a white base for the skin, evening that evens out the skintone and making it appear brighter. For me, my face is around 3-5 shades darker than the rest of my body so I'd rely on this cream to lighten my face. Don't over-apply though as it can leave a scary white cast. Yikes~ 

Hazeline Snow keeps my face from becoming too oily for hours! Who needs a $69 clay lotion from Khiels to mattify the skin when you've got this wonderful little tub of joy? Annnd, my friends who uses it says it's great to combat acne! Put a dollop on the zit and go to bed. Plus, its cooling texture is great for insect bites and rashes.

When I had this on one day, my friend remarked that my skin looks better now. It may be because Hazeline Snow is indeed as good for skin as they say, or that the nature of the cream (powdery, matte product) helps to even out the skintone by having a layer of powder on it. There is indeed a noticeable film left on the skin after using hazeline but it's not annoying like silicone-based products.

To combat the crumbly cream problem encountered by many, I used a spatula to gently scoop out thin layers the cream.Viola, you get a very creamy, cooling paste that is in no way crumbly at all! :D

The downside to this cream is perhaps the fact that it isn't very moisturising at all. For dry skin people you're better off trying the whitening version of Hazeline Snow as the texture is creamier. And, for oilier skin types, you still do need some moisturising gel/lotion before putting this on unless your skin is really, really oily. It caused a tightening sensation around my prone-to-dryness cheeks when I slather it on without applying lotion beforehand. 

Nonetheless, this is a great product and it has stood the test of time.

Highly recommend.

Oh, have you guys tried this product? And is it available in your country? Do share!

Lots of love
That Whimsical Blogger!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

{{Fragrance Review}}: Naruko Celestial White Moss Eau de Toilette (Youtube)

Hey guys, here's a review on Naruko's fragrance, the Celestial White Moss eau de toilette!
I made it as a Youtube video this time ^___^ Do check it out.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Opinion: Zalora.sg

Behold, Zalora.

Hey there m'lovelies!

Today I'll be gallantly writing a decent review of Zalora.sg

I have purchased thrice from Zalora.sg and while my opinion towards this site remains mixed, it is a far cry from the scornful reviews I have read online. I have never once tried out their return policy though, because all the stuff I bought fit me.

Since the start of 2013, I have purchased 3 dresses and a sunblock from Zalora.sg

Here's the pros & cons of shopping at Zalora:

Wide range of items offered. 
There are many, many choices with regards to fashion merchandise on Zalora.sg 's site. With a discerning eye for details, you will be able to pick out good quality apparels. My favourite brand thus far is Inner Circle on the site because of their quirky design and decent quality.

Quirky dress from Inner Circle

Their sale items. 
That's right, sale items. The bargain hunter in me (I've since levelled up from being a cheap skate) enjoys looking at clothing on sale at Zalora.sg This is because firstly, who can resist a good bargain for something you'll wear? Moreover, I delight in the fact that things on sale usually mean that few people are interested in the product and thus also meant that I will not run into people wearing the same clothing as I. Score!

Discount coupons.
Zalora.sg is known for their aggressive marketing campaigns which include the -shall we say- spamming of discount coupons through outlets like credit cards and Facebook. Like that full-priced item on Zalora? Well, use the coupon and it's full-priced no more! I've read that one major source of grievances about Zalora is its eagerness to maintain full prices in order to win the support of its suppliers, so there, discount coupons to the surreptitious rescue!

Categorisation of products
Like your stuff only in black? No problem, just check the "black colour" option for their mechandise. Viola, you get to choose stuff that fits into the colours you deem acceptable. Very much fuss-free than to pore over every single bit of item offered.
Sometimes, they come up with "spring fashion", "summer fashion" categories that helps you choose the hip new clothing which is yet another aspect of fuss-free selection process.
There's also other options such as browsing by brand, size, price range.
Eh eh, so what sort of colour are you drawn towards?

LONG LONG LONG delivery time.
The skeptic in me always chose the "cash on delivery" payment method and behold, the delivery time for a "2-3 working days" label on the site can take up to 2 weeks! Two dreadfully long weeks. I once bought a cheongsam a week before the Chinese New Year and it arrived AFTER the second week of the CNY period. Golly, thanks Zalora, I'll just have to keep this till next year.

Initially, I thought it's because of the cash-on-delivery which made Zalora so inefficient at delivery timing. But no, when I started buying stuff from Sg Best Buy World (I shall review them sometime later), I got my products on the stated delivery date even with the COD option! Take that for efficiency, Zalora!

Unintelligible customer service.
Okay, maybe not unintelligible but it is really hard to communicate with their customer service. 
I believe the CS I spoke to was an Indian National with a strong accent. It took me a long while to discern what she was speaking on the phone. For someone like myself who prides on my ability to understand people despite their accents, this just threw me back to rookie level. Please hire people with better diction Zalora. It feels like you're cutting corners.

In short, I have mixed opinion of Zalora.sg but it's nothing too drastically awful. I may buy from them again in the future, when I need to update my wardrobe. 

Have you bought from Zalora? What's your experience like? Do share!

That Whimsical Blogger

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Updated!--{{In-depth Review}}: Acqua di Gioia EDP

Acqua di Gioia retails for S$119 for 100ml, S$99 for 50ml.
http://sg.bestbuy-world.com retails it for $69.50 and $55 respectively

Acqua di Gioia.

Water of Joy.

This was first released in 2010 by Giorgio Armani.

Top notes: Mint, Amalfi Lemon
Middle Notes: Jasmine, Peony, Pink pepper
Base notes: French labdanum, Virginia cedar, Sugar

This eau de parfum is created to capture how a woman can live in harmony with nature.

Nature beckons, with its cascading waterfalls, lush forestry and secret escapes.

The scent of Acqua di Gioia opens with a burst of bittersweet lemony freshness. The notes of mint, amalfi lemon and sugar dances through the air, bringing delight and a sense of carefreeness. The amalfi lemon smells as though it is the distillation of the entire lemon - peels and all. The mint is icy fresh but doesn't smell very natural to me. Then, the sugar reminds me of icing sugar - very cool and sweet. I detect a hint of marine scent too, for there is something salty about the opening. It was as though I had immersed myself in a cool blue pool amidst a crystal clear sky and am enjoying a cup of minty iced soda. It is definitely a 'cold blue' opening - relaxing, aquatic and somewhat sophisticated (like a pricey imported bottle of water). The top notes feels genuinely androgynous.

Then, as the parfum settles, the sugar, jasmine and peony notes become prominent. I cannot identify the  jasmine note singularly but rather a mix of jasmine and peony florals. The middle notes conjure the image of flower petals saturated in water amidst falling sugar pieces. Still cooling, aquatic but now with a feminine aura.

After an hour or two, the base notes come into play. French labdanum and Virginia cedar lend a masculine edge to the sweetness of Acqua di Gioia. It is sweet, floral and woody, making the scent develop into a warm aquatic base. At first, I thought it developed a rather plasticky warm sweet scent on my skin, but I guess that is the work of the labdanum, which is a type of resin. Personally, I am unable to detect the note of virginia cedar but perhaps it is there to give the woody notes alongside labdanum. The drydown in our hot weather can be cloying because of its warmth, although the mint is there to retain its freshness. I'm not particularly pleased with the dry down as I prefer fresher scents but I guess you do need the woody base to hold the fragrance together for hours.

The gorgeous iridescent blue cap

Nonetheless, I do like this scent a lot and since this is cheaper than my L'occitane Eau Vert, I'd grab this product over the latter.

In hot weather, this is fresh, cooling and sweet due to the opening and the heart notes.
In colder weather, this is fresh, sweet and comforting due to its base notes.

I think Acqua di Gioia is a scent that seems initially linear but turns out to be multi-faceted and suited for all days of the year.
The nozzle has the symbol of Giorgio Armani

A word of warning though, please do not use this perfume as a coverup for sweat. I spritzed a spray or two one morning and decided to walk to a nearby mall unaware of the repercussions. With the blazing sun above me, I sweated profusely and the scent of body odour + Acqua di Gioia makes it appear as though there is something spoiling in the water.

Just no.

Also, go easy on the spraying of this one because it is quite potent. Anything more than 2-3 spritz makes me feel rather dizzy. A single spray on my hand lasted up to 6-8 hours. The sillage is moderate for the first two to three hours before it becomes a subtle skin scent.

Edit: Do make sure you use one spray per wrist though because when I tried dividing one spray for 2 wrists the scent lasted for merely 2-3 hours whereas a single spray concentrated on one wrist lasts up to 8 hours. Also, I find that spritzing on the wrist minimises the contact of any sweat scent mingling with the perfume, thus reducing the nasty smell I mentioned earlier.

Oh, and my bottle is a  2012 limited edition one which I purchased for S$72 from Sg Bestbuy World(which I will be doing a review on). I don't think it is available anymore except for the 50ml tester bottle.
The swirly motifs are unique to the 2012 limited edition of
Acqua di Gioia

Well, that is all for this review.
Do you own Acqua di Gioia yourself? Would you buy it?
Do comment!

Thanks for reading!

That Whimsical Blogger

P.S: Here's the commercial for it

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

{{Quick Skincare Review}}: Naruko Raw Job's Tears toner

Naruko Raw Job's Tears toner
retails for S$23 at Watsons, Singapore
 and S$22.90 from Naruko.sg
Hello hello!
This is a quick skincare review of my toner from Naruko.
As said before, I *love* Naruko's Raw Job's Tears line.

I bought this toner after my skin suffered another bout of heat rash. Realising the prowess of Naruko's RJT gelly, I grabbed this bottle at Watsons to help me.

Boy am I glad I bought one.

This is soothing just like RJT belly. When applied, it gives a cooling sensation to the skin and leaves it slightly moisturised.

The product itself is a clear yellowish liquid solution, stored in this ruby red toner container. A bright pop of colour, I must add.

I do DIY masks with this as well to help with my skin sensitivity so this is a saviour! Plus, when used in conjunction with the gelly, I found that my acne scars faded faster. So the whole "supercritical whitening" properties of this line does somewhat work and that's great. I'll use it religiously whenever I get some hard-to-fade pimple scars.

And oh, you should also apply sunscreen in the day so that your acne scars wouldn't darken and take a longer time to fade.

Yup, that's a quicky review of this stellar product.

Have you tried it? Will you try it?
Comment below!

Thanks for reading
That Whimsical Blogger

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